More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
What Illinois lawmakers will (and won't) hear this afternoon
This afternoon at 3pm central time, when they gather to hear testimony on the marriage bill, would Illinois lawmakers be interested to learn that one of the people testifying before them actually thinks that gay people (or "same-sex attracted" people, as she calls us) must remain celibate?
Would the elected represenatives of the Land of Lincoln be curious to know that this same provider of testimony doesn’t even “accept the category of gayness,” that she sees homosexuality as “completely shameless activity” and "intrinsically disordered behavior," and that she believes those who advocate for marraige equality are "enemies of the human body"?
Speaking specifically of those lawmakers who are both religious and supportive of civil freedom, would they care to know that this testifier believes that "everybody who reads Genesis -- everybody, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Mormon -- everybody who reads Genesis supported Prop 8" (1:35-1:52) or that she denies faith to all supporters of LGBT equality, declaring that "the job that religion does in most people's lives, they are filling it up with Earth worship" (1:47-2:14) ?
Would those legislators who are still debating with which side of this issue they want to be identified like to know that this particular individual recently gave a lecture at which she used a photo of priests, saluting Nazis, coupled with the suggestion that future Christians who are supportive of and/or quiet about marriage equality (which she calls "a pagan ideology) will feel a similar shame?
Would those lawmakers who have relied on reproductive technology in their own families care to know that this prominent conservative voice has insistited that people who purchase sperm should be in jail, saying: "Buying sperm at all should be abolished. And furthermore, these people should be in jail, I’m afraid. I mean, you know, honestly, I just can’t even imagine where people think this is going to lead. You know, because the child is no longer a gift from God and a fruit of human love participating in God’s love. The child is now a product, manufactured by adults, and therefore the child cannot be fully the equal of its parent."
Would the lawmakers who are debating the state's marriage bill be interested to know that someone who the opposition has selected to testify on the bill quite literally sees this marriage debate as "a hostile takeover of the whole civil society" (9:35-9:44) ?
I ask, because all of the above admissions (and many, many more) are unlikely to make it in Jennifer Roback Morse's testimony when she appears today before the Illinois legislature:
But personally, I think Illinoisians have right to know the expanse of the beliefs that bring Ms. Roback Morse—who, as head of the Ruth Institute, is a six-figure-compensated employee of the National Organization For Marriage—to Springfield on this Tuesday afternoon. Since the debate before the legislature is about whether or not certain kinds of Illinois taxpayers should be affored the rights and benefits of marriage, it would be instructive to know what is really underlying and sustaining the oppositional voices.
I should add that I'm not at all surprised to learn that Ms. Roback Morse wants to meet the folks from the Illinois Family Insitute since, like them, she is also a supporter of the idea that gays must "change" who they are. In fact, in addition to her calls for gay celibacy, Ms. Roback Morse has pointedly declared marriage equality advocates to be "at war with Mother Nature," and her organization has quite proudly prayed for the "conversion" of gays, who they claim are "deeply wounded spiritually." It's demonstrably clear to me what is really going on with Illinois' marriage equality opposition movement—and it isn't defined by their marriage views alone.
If Ms. Roback Morse and her IFI allies are honest, then they will also make their views clear to the decision makers who are tasked with weighing their arguments. If they want to stop loving same-sex couples from marriage, then they need to be honest about WHY. I don't think that's too much to ask.
This month the United States Supreme Court will issue decisions on two cases critical to marriage equality. GLAAD is working with media outlets and couples around the country to push for marriage. Follow GLAAD for up to date news about the Supreme Court's decision at www.glaad.org/marriage