American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

AFER Debunks NOM’s New Propaganda Video

The so-called National Organization for Marriage (“NOM”) is spending millions of dollars this election to prevent gay and lesbian couples from getting married.

They know they can’t win if they tell the truth about marriage equality, so instead they perpetuate misinformation and lies laced with fear and prejudice.

Their latest propaganda piece is an attractive “Marriage 101” video. It includes claims that NOM knows are not true – claims that AFER’s all-star legal team, led by distinguished co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies, expertly debunked during the 2010 federal district court trial of Prop. 8. That trial served at the nation’s truth commission on marriage equality.

What do loving, committed gay and lesbian couples have to do with drug dealers and pedophiles? Nothing. This is just demeaning people for no reason. Words like these do serious long-lasting harm, particularly to gay and lesbian kids.

And then there’s this:

“natural marriage.”

This term is nonsense, because marriage doesn’t come from nature. It comes from people. It’s a set of laws. During the trial, Harvard History Professor Nancy Cott testified, “the state is involved in granting …a status to that institution that no informal marriage has ever approximated.”

Not to mention, with this term, NOM calling gay people unnatural. It’s just more name-calling.

It’s not surprising that NOM gets their terminology so wrong, because their definition of marriage is defies reality. Here’s what NOM thinks marriage is:

“Natural marriage creates children.”

No, sex creates children. There’s a difference between sex and marriage. You don’t have to be married to have children. And you don’t have to have sex to be a parent.

“It best raises children.”

No. This has been debunked by one medical organization after another. NOM knows that this claim isn’t true.

“It’s protects women. It civilizes men.”

At least, to NOM’s credit, they’re equally sexist against both men and women. This is a hard claim to debunk because it doesn’t even make sense. But what NOM seems to be saying is that if gay people can get married, then suddenly men will start impregnating women and then leaving to go commit crimes. This is offensive to just about everyone, but most of all to reality.

“It lowers crime, poverty, and welfare.”

That’s actually true. Marriage has a stabilizing social influence. But not just for straight couples — the same holds true for gays and lesbians. If NOM really cared about reducing crime, poverty, and welfare, they would want us to have the freedom to marry.

So, what have we learned? That an organization calling itself “The National Organization for Marriage” apparently doesn’t know what marriage is or how it works.

“Same-sex marriage offers no benefits for society as a whole.”

This is another crazy claim that we could spend all day debunking, because as everyone knows — including NOM — there are thousands of legal rights and ancillary benefits that accompany marriage. And the last time we checked, gay and lesbian couples are a part of society.

“Same-sex marriage merely validates sex partners.”

It takes a lot of nerve to make such an offensive statement. NOM’s talking about families here. They’re dismissing loving, committed couples as “mere sex partners,” which goes beyond civil debate and enters the realm of invasive personal attack. It’s unacceptable.

“We know, statistically, that natural marriage creates the best possible family for children.”

This isn’t true either. NOM may claim to know this “statistically,” but they don’t cite any actual data. That’s because those statistics simply don’t exist. They’re made up.

“Your business and taxes fund homosexual relationships.”

This is another weird claim. Businesses are aren’t funding anyone’s relationships. It’s true that in some states, companies may have to do business with gay couples. But that’s has nothing to do with marriage.

And as far as taxes go, gay and lesbian couples have to file extra returns and pay extra taxes because the government won’t recognize those relationships.

“The law already treats everyone equally. Every citizen can marry someone of the opposite sex.”

That’s cute, but NOM knows that’s not really what’s at issue here. Yes, everyone can marry someone of the opposite sex. But only straight couples have the freedom to marry the person they love. Only straight couples can form a complete legal family unit with the person of their choosing. Gay and lesbian couples are out of luck. That’s not treating people equally.

And this is the same argument that people made for racist anti-miscegenation laws. “These laws treat people equally,” the argument went, “because everyone is free to marry someone of the same race.” That didn’t make sense in 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia. And it doesn’t make sense today.

“But only the union of one man and one woman should be promoted because it alone is the foundation of a civilized society.”

More name-calling: now NOM is saying that gay and lesbian couples aren’t part of civilized society. That they’re uncivilized. That’s bad enough, but look what comes next.

“That’s not bigotry. That’s biology.”

So let’s see:

NOM just compared an entire minority group to criminals, called them unnatural, said they’re less fit to raise children, demeaned their relationships, and called them uncivilized.

And then they say that’s not bigotry?