Saturday, September 19, 2015

Aftermath of SCOTUS' same-sex marriage ruling. . . opponents may have inadvertently shaped public opinion in favor

The other day I received a voluminous amount of information on a political group called the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). You wouldn't expect such an innocuous, harmless sounding group to be on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of groups to monitor but they are. The organization is vehemently anti-gay and is led by a man named Brian Brown.

Following the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage the analysis continues and there continues to be much hand-wringing by opponents to the ruling. An interesting theory has been bounced around that the outrageous tactics used by same-sex marriage opponents contributed to public opinion changing in favor of more rights and acceptance for gays. This can be called The Law of Unintended Consequences or "backfire" for short. Whether that's true or not, it is true there has been a major societal shift in favor of more rights for gays in America.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the New York Times:
      But gay rights advocates see Mr. Brown as the personification of evil, a man who traffics in distortions and smears with a smile.
     The Southern Poverty Law Center, which fights intolerance, says the National Organization for Marriage pushes the line of being labeled a hate group because it “continues to spread lies about gays” and uses its Web site to link to debunked research. The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, devotes a portion of its Web site, headlined “NOM Exposed,” to tracking Mr. Brown and his group.
     “Even Governor Wallace in the end came around,” said Chad Griffin, the Human Rights Campaign president, referring to George Wallace, the segregationist Alabama governor.
I suspect Mr. Brown would have a very dim view of our little City of Lake Worth, FL. We have one of the largest gay pride parades in the country, have gay elected officials, gay-owned businesses and homeowners, and we're home to the Compass Gay and Lesbian Center. Below is former-Mayor Jeff Clemens (now a state senator) at the opening of Compass back in 2009:

Despite the incredible victories for human rights in this country it's important to remember that groups like NOM aren't going to fold up their tent and go away. It's important to stay vigilant—also here in the tolerant City of Lake Worth.