Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage claims that his organization wants a respectful discussion as to the merits of being against gay marriage.
However based on the actions of NOM -- and the organizations it is partnering with in New York and Minnesota -- one can't help but to question the veracity of Brown's statement.
- NOM has put out a misleading commercial in New York touting a claim that the organization knows is discredited.
- The organization has also blanketed the state with flyers designed to imply that gays want to use marriage equality to corrupt the innocence of children.
- Brown himself, during a rally, made the erroneous claim that Massachusetts kindergartners are being taught that their parents are bigots if said parents favor opposite-sex marriage.
And these missives of inaccuracy and misdirection aren't confined solely to NOM. The organizations NOM is partnering with to fight gay marriage are also guilty of several dubious actions.
In Minnesota, where the legislature just voted to put a gay marriage amendment on the 2012 ballot, the Minnesota Family Council spread inaccurate information via its site that gays engage in pedophilia, bestiality, and the consuming of urine and feces. It also cited the work of discredited physician Paul Cameron. Since this discovery became public, the Minnesota Family Council scrubbed these references from its site. However, you can still view the information here. To top it off, even though the items were removed, the head of the Minnesota Family Council, Tom Pritchard, actually defended the material:
Prichard defends the postings as getting "into the nature of homosexuality and homosexual behavior," but says that won't be the focus of his group's efforts to pass the constitutional ban.
"The focus of this campaign is the nature and purpose of marriage -- not a referendum of homosexuality per se, or its lifestyle activities and behaviors," he says. "I would see that as a separate issue."
And it gets more interesting in New York.
A group aiding NOM in that state, the Family Research Foundation, is encouraging supporters to write letters to the editor demonizing LGBTs. And the organization has provided prospective writers with several form letters, meaning that all they have to do is sign their name. You can view the letters here. One letter is as follows:
The letter implies that the LGBT orientation is as dangerous as cigarette smoking. This theory was originally espoused by the discredited researcher Paul Cameron, the very man whose material the Minnesota Family Council scrubbed from its page.
In New York, it's looking like gay marriage won't have the votes to get out of the legislature in spite of high profile lobbying by such figures as Governor Andrew Cuomo.
As for Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton gave the marriage amendment there a symbolic veto because he doesn't have the power to actually veto it. In that state, the legislature has the power to put amendments up for a public vote without the governor's approval.
Dayton called the amendment mean-spirited and divisive.