The National Organization for Marriage must think the whole world is against them. They can’t seem to catch a break—especially in the courts—as judges keep ruling against their claims that they have to keep their donors’ names private because of pervasive harassment by pro-marriage equality activists.
And the proof that they’ve been the victims of “countless reports of threats, harassment, and reprisals”? Well, Amanda Terkel at HuffPo outlines a couple of the examples given in NOM court papers including a California ice cream parlor that got picketed by gay rights supporters after the owners contributed to Proposition 8:
In another instance in Washington state, an opponent of marriage equality was collecting petition signatures to challenge a law granting legal protections to same-sex couples, when two ladies “glared at him and one said ‘we have feelings too.’” He did not report the incident to the police.
So far, Terkel reports, “four federal judges and three state boards in seven states—California, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Washington—have all found NOM’s evidence to be lacking. Not a single state has backed up NOM.”
In the latest ruling in California, the judge noted that the complaints of “harassment” were often protected forms of free speech including “picketing, protesting, boycotting, distributing flyers, destroying yard signs, and voicing dissent.”
It’s easy to laugh at NOM for believing that being picketed or glared at is actually harassment when gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have faced very real harassment in the form of beatings, murders, vicious bullying that has led to suicides, and job and housing discrimination. In fact, new statistics on hate crimes released by the FBI show hate crimes were on the rise last year against gay men especially. Yes, hate crimes are being directed at religious people, but the majority of those crimes are against Jews and Muslims. Hate crimes against Christians account for roughly 1.5% of the total hate crimes being committed. But, while it’s obvious LGBT people are targeted more often and more brutally for their mere existence than anti-gay Christians, comparing our wounds doesn’t really contribute much to the conversation.
The fact that these are the worst examples of “harassment” that NOM can come up shows that marriage equality supporters are taking the high road on this issue. The LGBT community knows that lying about and demonizing your opponent does not work. It certainly hasn’t forced the LGBT community to disappear back into their closets. Instead, it tends to galvanize the opposition because they then become the victims.
Instead, NOM has had to resort to puffing up the truth and trying to make legal forms of protest against them amount to persecution. NOM’s actions are simply transparent ploys to raise sympathy, and most importantly, raise money. It is obvious to the courts that NOM has not been victimized, and it should be obvious to the majority of those following the debate that no real harm has come to any anti-marriage equality activist—except perhaps hurt feelings.
NOM’s continuing assertion that they are the victims in this battle shows that marriage activists have been doing the right thing and heaping nothing but Christian love on its opponents. As the Apostle Paul told the Romans, whenever one shows kindness to their enemy they should expect their enemy to react as if hot coals are being heaped on their heads. NOM’s howling about being “abused,” when it’s obvious they haven’t, is simply proof that they have been shown great compassion by their opponents—even if they get glared at from time to time.