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Scott Rose

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How Many Have to Die Before NOM Is Stopped?

Posted: 10/11/11 07:29 PM ET

The so-called National Organization for Marriage (and its public faces, including Maggie Gallagher, that very ill-intentioned cheerleader for anti-gay bullying) might as well be punching, kicking and spitting in the faces of every student in the country bullied on the basis of the fact that they are, or are perceived to be, gay.

I say that because I was punched, kicked, spit on and viciously jeered as a "faggot!" in the junior high schools of Lexington, Mass. I reported the criminal harassment to teachers and administrators; all did nothing. Though not yet out to myself, I did not tell my parents what was happening, for fear that telling them would make them think I was homosexual. Since that time, Massachusetts has changed, Lexington has changed; we might say that they have evolved. Public school students are taught about human sexuality from the scientifically enlightened view, which of course entails support for LGBT equality. Yet a handful of Lexington parents protested that in the schools, LGBTers were being portrayed as fully human and deserving of equality.

NOM, which duplicitously will state that it is "only" concerned with "defending marriage" -- as if that were not an affront to the inalienable rights of LGBT Americans -- constantly uses the Lexington schools story as a magnet to attract blood money from donors all across the country. Every time I hear NOM doing that, I have a post-traumatic flashback to when I was being tortured by anti-gay bullies. Furthermore, NOM misses no opportunity to politic against LGBT-specific, anti-bullying policies in the schools. To state it plainly, NOM very aggressively wants to return to the status quo ante in which I was tormented and beaten by anti-gay bullies at school, with no hope of getting anybody to do anything to stop them, and, due to societal anti-gay bigotry, afraid even to tell my own parents that I was a victim and why. NOM, apparently pleased with such situations, does nothing to prevent them and everything to encourage them.

Recent events illustrate NOM's indifference to the plight of LGBT bullying victims in the nation's schools. The late Jamey Rodemeyer lived in New York State Senator Mark Grisanti's district. NOM wants Grisanti's head because he voted for equality. Jamey was lost to bullycide at the age of 14. NOM then did a virtual victory dance on Jamey's grave by erecting and publicizing billboards threatening Senator Grisanti. With NOM's ugly billboards -- which signal that LGBT people are sick and don't deserve equal rights -- reinforcing anti-gay bigotry in dear, sweet Jamey's environs, Jamey's sister attended a school dance where her brother's former assailants allegedly chanted that they were glad he is dead.

NOM's success with inserting its malignant political gay-bashing into the 2012 elections is a call to all truly decent Americans to take decisive action to stop NOM. At a NOM-sponsored anti-gay hate rally in the Bronx in May, a preacher yelled through a megaphone that homosexuals are "worthy to death." That incitement to anti-gay violence was issued under the nose of a hardened anti-gay state senator and NOM political ally, Reverend Ruben Diaz, who has publicly praised "the Lord" for giving him chances to work with NOM against gay rights. When anti-gay hate crimes take place in Diaz's borough, some city officials show leadership in denouncing those hate crimes while Diaz remains silent. NOM toured Iowa over the summer, fanning the flames of irrational anti-gay bigotry and getting leading Republican presidential candidates, including Michele Bachmann, to sign the notorious NOM pledge. In Bachmann's hometown, Waterloo, Iowa, the 19-year-old Marcellus Andrews was then beaten to death by anti-gay bigots yelling "faggot!" at him.

The NOM pledge stands incontrovertibly as evidence that NOM wants to return to the status quo ante in which nearly all gay Americans were forced to live closeted lives. If all of its nasty, mean-spirited threats are carried out, state-level marriage recognition and benefits will be wrenched away from all currently married gay American couples and their children. In whose deranged mind would that be an example of liberty and justice for all? Though NOM clearly is an anti-gay hate group, Facebook allows NOM various Facebook platforms through which to defame gay human beings and to beg anti-gay bigots for blood money. On multiple points, NOM blatantly is in violation of Facebook's terms of use. Please sign this petition to Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to ban NOM and its affiliates from Facebook for 1) terms of use violations and 2) because it is a hate group. Be sure to read through the statements under the petition from the 800-plus people who have already signed. Many are heartbreakingly poignant histories of how both psychological and physical anti-LGBT violence have wounded human beings who did nothing to deserve those wounds.

Please know that prior to NOM's planned protest against the issuing of New York's first marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, I generously sent Maggie Gallagher, a Catholic who frequently talks about "values," an offer to work with her for one week to help homeless people throughout New York in exchange for her calling off her protest. Her lack of response is a hideous reflection of the fact that in America today, even as there are poor people who don't have roofs over their heads or food to give their children, NOM and Maggie Gallagher are raising money, gluttonously, to feed ignorance-fueled bigotry against gay human beings.