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It's Time for the 'We Need to Protect Marriage' Con to Die

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Here we go again.

The North Carolina Legislature has passed a bill to allow its citizens to vote on a state constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

The majority of folks in North Carolina are against this amendment, but that is considered a minor detail by the organizations and people pushing it.

They are always quick to point out that other states that have polled against state constitutional amendments against gay marriage passed them when voters had the chance to register their opinions via the ballot box.

Of course the truth is not that simple. The untold narrative usually goes like this:

People in the targeted states are so generally worried about more pressing issues that they allow their legislatures to be the first salvo in what can be called an invasion (i.e., laying the groundwork by passing a bill, thereby forcing constituents to vote on the matter).

Then an organization -- usually the National Organization for Marriage -- is the second part of the invasion via its virtually unlimited funds supplied by secret donors (which the group has fought tooth and nail not to reveal), which pay for the inundation of robocalls, mailers and commercials spinning a multitude of lies about gays harming children or gays persecuting Christians, or gays causing all sorts of mayhem in general if the amendment is not passed.

At the same time, the organization strokes the egos of area pastors and public leaders. The organization, combined with these pastors and public leaders, gain votes by:

  • Picking a needless war with the gay community over the definition of "civil rights"
  • Spooking people into thinking that God will literally send the Angel of Death to smite them if they don't vote for the amendment
  • Scaring people into thinking that gays are going to knock down their front doors and cart them off to jail or convert their children if they don't vote for the amendment

The organization -- again, usually NOM -- wins the vote, and while it brays about how "the community stood up to protect marriage," the community in actuality deals with strife, hard feelings, broken families and generally not understanding why their votes to "protect marriage" hasn't put food on their tables or more money in their paychecks, or made their lives better.

It's like some religious version of that Simpsons episode about the monorail. But instead of a faulty monorail, people are being sold a faulty premise that the biggest harm to their marriages are their gay and lesbian neighbors, and if they make it difficult for these folks to marry, then somehow the real things that harm marriages (e.g., the lack of communication or poverty, a subject none of these "we need to protect marriage" groups seem to ever address) will suddenly disappear.

It's time for this "we need to protect marriage" con to die. And it will. It could happen in North Carolina or Minnesota. Both states are facing anti-marriage-equality votes next year. Or it could happen before then. But rest assured, it will happen.

As our economic crisis looms and Republicans go tête-à-tête with the president, people are starting to get hip to these distracting amendment pushes that exploit their religious beliefs while doing nothing to solve the problems they have gaining employment, feeding their families or paying their mortgages.

It is said that a lie travels around the world before the truth has time to put on its shoes. What they always forget to mention is that when truth does put on its shoes, it usually makes up for lost time.

In the case of these phony "protect marriage" votes, I have a feeling that truth is just about to slap on its sneakers.