Huffpost Politics

NOM Slams Obama's Call For LGBT Equality, Says Gays 'Already Treated Equally'

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NOM OBAMA INAUGURATION
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, criticized President Barack Obama's inauguration speech, claiming that his call for LGBT equality was unnecessary since gays already have equal rights. In this 2010 file photo, Brown speaks at a rally for opponents of same-sex marriage in Augusta, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File) | AP

In the wake of President Barack Obama's precedent-setting call for LGBT equality Monday, anti-gay groups have been quick to dismiss the administration's apparent support for marriage equality.

As the New York Times notes, Obama became the first president ever to use the word "gay" during an inauguration speech, saying that "our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.'"

On Monday, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), jumped on the president's statement in a response posted to the group's blog. In it, he argued that gay and lesbian Americans already have the same rights as heterosexual Americans.

"Gay and lesbian people are already treated equally under the law," Brown said. "They have the same civil rights as anyone else; they have the right to live as they wish and love whom they choose. What they don’t have is the right to redefine marriage for all of society."

Brown went on to criticize Obama for voicing "support for a radical agenda advanced by some of his biggest campaign contributors to redefine marriage for everyone."

A representative for the Family Research Council, another anti-gay group, echoed Brown's sentiments during an interview with CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Tuesday morning.

Senior fellow Peter Sprigg told O'Brien that he objected to the president's juxtaposition of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riot -- a watershed moment for gay rights -- with similar moments from the women's rights and Civil Rights movements.

"We as social conservatives do not agree with the president’s attempt to link the modern homosexual movement with the women’s rights movement or the civil rights movement for African Americans,” Sprigg said. “The irony is that homosexuals already have all the same civil rights as anyone else.”

Sprigg continued to say that "all sexual behavior" is not created equal, nor do "all personal relationships have an equal value to society at large, that serve the same public interests."

As ThinkProgress notes, LGBT Americans in many states do not have the same kinds of workplace discrimination protections as straight employees. According to the Human Right Council, workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is legal in 29 states; discrimination based on gender identity or expression is legal in 34 states.

In addition, the majority of states do not recognize same-sex marriages, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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