Cozying Up to the National Organization for Marriage September 2, 2009

Cozying Up to the National Organization for Marriage

When a newspaper reporter compliments you by saying you are, indeed, “sane,” it’s not saying very much.

That’s how Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse described Brian Brown, the Executive Director of the National Organization for Marriage. That’s the group (in)famous for the “Gathering Storm” video and for using the acronym 2M4M to promote their anti-gay marriage initiative, when that acronym already had another NSFW usage…

All that said, Hesse still seemed to be enthralled by Brown:

The nightmares of gay marriage supporters are the Pat Robertsons of the world. The James Dobsons, the John Hagees — the people who specialize in whipping crowds into frothy frenzies, who say things like Katrina was caused by the gays.

The gay marriage supporters have not met Brian Brown. They should. He might be more worth knowing about.

The reason Brian Brown is so effective is that he is pleasantly, ruthlessly sane.

… He is 35, red hair, solidly built, wearing a crisp blue shirt with a white collar. Instantly likable. He’s a thoughtful talker, especially when discussing his “opposition,” such as the HRC. “They were ahead of the curve but… I didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t do the same thing.”

Emily Rutherford at Campus Progress can’t understand how Hesse fell right into this trap:

What is most disappointing — and disturbing — about the Post’s profile of Brown is the degree to which the writer, Monica Hesse, fell hook, line, and sinker for NOM’s marketing in its entirety. Hesse positively fawns over Brown, saying that in contrast to “the people who specialize in whipping crowds into frothy frenzies, who say things like ‘Katrina was caused by the gays,’” Brown speaks to a “country [that] is not made up of people in the far wings, right or left, [but] is made up of a movable middle, reasonable people looking for reasonable arguments to assure them that their feelings have a rational basis.” Hesse seems to have missed that fighting against same-sex marriage becomes a more and more unreasonable position as the public warms to it. The idea that Brown’s cause is rational is just a tactic: it’s exactly what he and other social conservatives want the public to think.

For me, the most interesting part about the Post article was the bit about Brown’s wife. While she supports her husband, she doesn’t seem to be as anti-gay marriage as he is. For her, it’s just something he does and she stands by him. It’s almost refreshing to see.

(Thanks to Tommaso for the link!)


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  • Eduardo Padoan

    NOM person: “Hey man, you have such a smooth voice. Would you be interested in getting paid to f*ck up with gay people?”
    Brian Brown: “Oh, I don’t think so, I’m married and…”
    NOM: “No, wait, you got me wrong, I mean, with their lives.”
    BB: “Oh, I see. What do I have to do?”

    And so on…

  • cathy

    How is it refreshing to see a woman shutting up about her own opinions to ‘stick by’ her husband? Especially when his ideas are so nuts.

  • Amyable Atheist

    “Sure honey, I’ll go to your homophobia ralley!”

  • littlejohn

    As a journalist, I’d like to point out that this clearly isn’t a hard news story, and I’m not sure the writer would be described as a “reporter.”
    That was an opinion-laden feature article. There’s a difference. A news reporter, especially at a reputable outfit like the Post, would never assert anything, such as a person’s sanity, that isn’t demonstrably true.
    Don’t bash journalists because you don’t like commentators. I don’t like commentators either.

  • Well, you know, it’s not bigotry if they smile and talk pretty.

  • Jon

    @littlejohn — unfortunately, the commentators often present a more meaningful picture of the situation than the ‘journalists’. The ‘journalists’ like to pretend they are not opinionated – but their bias clearly shows anyway. The commentators have a better ability to be honest about the situation and present a meaningful argument or position.

  • Jon

    Hesse seems to have missed that fighting against same-sex marriage becomes a more and more unreasonable position as the public warms to it.

    You seem to have missed that fighting for gay ‘marriage’ becomes a more unreasonable position as the public votes not to have it.

  • Justin jm

    You seem to have missed that fighting for gay ‘marriage’ becomes a more unreasonable position as the public votes not to have it.

    How many times does it have to be said that just because some people don’t approve of a marriage, that it isn’t less legitimate as a marriage? Seriously, your insertion of scare quotes around the word marriage ticks me off.

    BTW, it doesn’t matter worth a damn if the public votes against gay marriages; that doesn’t affect whether they should be allowed.

  • ChameleonDave

    You seem to have missed that fighting for gay ‘marriage’ becomes a more unreasonable position as the public votes not to have it.

    How am I supposed to ignore all your trolling if you occasionally say something logical like this?

    😉

  • thilina

    You seem to have missed that fighting for gay ‘marriage’ becomes a more unreasonable position as the public votes not to have it.

    Would you be saying the same thing if the public were voting not to have christian marriages?

  • Richard P

    Heaven forbid…rofl

  • Richard Wade

    …He is 35, red hair, solidly built, wearing a crisp blue shirt with a white collar. Instantly likable…

    …When he moves, I can see his muscular arms ripple under that crisp blue shirt. Oh. The same blue as those eyes, like pools I’d love to go swimming in. Mmmm. Wow. When he flashes that enchanting smile, there’s this adorable boyish dimple. But the rest is 100% Grade AA Manly. His tie is pulled rakishly loose, giving him a confident air of being ready for action. And… oh… my… God, working its way through the space between his shirt buttons, a red chest hair!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Red chest hair! ohmygodohmygodohmygod I must have this man! Take me! TAKE ME! YES! I don’t care about the faggots! OHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • Carlie

    You seem to have missed that fighting for gay interracial ‘marriage’ becomes a more unreasonable position as the public votes not to have it.

    There, fixed that for you. Oh wait, you weren’t talking about recent history in the US?

  • Jon

    because some people don’t approve of a marriage, that it isn’t less legitimate as a marriage

    Marriage is obviously between a man and a woman. So when people argue that homosexuals should be able to get “married”, it just makes them sound ignorant. At least realize that you have to call it a civil union or something other than marriage.

    BTW, it doesn’t matter worth a damn if the public votes against gay marriages; that doesn’t affect whether they should be allowed

    It kind of does, at least in the states where the voting has taken place.

    You seem to have missed that fighting for gay interracial ‘marriage’ becomes a more unreasonable position as the public votes not to have it.

    There, fixed that for you. Oh wait, you weren’t talking about recent history in the US?

    “Gay rights” is a distinctly different issue than racial equality. Anyone who tries to relate the two is simply attempting to engage in a bait-and-switch scheme.

  • Heidi

    It’s so funny when trolls say “my prejudice is different from those other prejudices.” Sure. You keep lying to yourself if it helps you sleep.

    Tell yourself that hating someone’s skin is so much different than hating someone’s orientation. In fact, tell yourself you’re not *really* hating at all; you’re just defending yourself. It’s against your religion for everyone to have equal rights, after all. Tell yourself that your imaginary evil sky monster says you’re special, and that “those” people don’t deserve the legal rights you have. Tell yourself that “those” people should have been happy with a separate but equal civil union.

    Just don’t expect anyone here to buy it. Meanwhile, I’ll be telling everyone who will listen that “those” people are just as human as I am, and deserve the same legal rights that I have.

  • Martin

    Marriage is obviously between a man and a woman. So when people argue that homosexuals should be able to get “married”, it just makes them sound ignorant. At least realize that you have to call it a civil union or something other than marriage.

    How is that obvious? Even if you mean that currently, in some laws, marriage is defined like that, why not change that definition? Why call a same-sex union something other than a different-sex union? The only reason to do that would be to treat them differently, for which you should give justifications.

    “Gay rights” is a distinctly different issue than racial equality. Anyone who tries to relate the two is simply attempting to engage in a bait-and-switch scheme.

    No, it is actually a fitting analogy. One group of people is unjustifiably denied the rights another group of people just has.

  • Carlie

    “Gay rights” is a distinctly different issue than racial equality. Anyone who tries to relate the two is simply attempting to engage in a bait-and-switch scheme.

    Not with regard to its legality and the arguments made against it. Most states had popular votes that enshrined and continued discrimination against interracial marriages, and these were primarily backed by religious conservatives who used the Bible to prove that interracial marriage was a sin. The only reason that interracial marriage is legal in every state is that the Supreme Court overrode the tyrrany of the majority in favor of equality for couples that a lot of people hated because their pastors told them to. How is gay marriage any different?