2012: The National Organization for Marriage's TV ad.
promoting natural marriage & denigrating adoptive parents
Back in 2009-APR, the National Organization for Marriage 1 (NOM) launched a 60 second TV ad
titled "A Gathering Storm" to attack same-sex marriage. It was a fear-based ad. It suggested that the lesbian, gay, bisexual community (LGB) was using same-sex marriage as a weapon to attack the general population's religious liberty and job security.
As election day in 2012 approached, NOM introduced a very different video ad called "Marriage = Biology (not bigotry)." 2 It takes a different approach by promoting the benefits to society of "natural" marriage. This category involves relationships involving:
married to one man,
who conceive children together whose DNA are a mixture of the two parents' DNA.
Such relationships are described as beneficial to society. Other than "natural" marriage are described as worthless.
The NOM 2012 "Marriage = Biology (not bigotry)" ad:
Analyses of the NOM ad:
Avoiding the bigotry problem: There have been an enormous number of cultural shifts in the past 15 decades in which widespread discrimination based on race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity has been challenged and largely or completely overcome. This includes: the abolition of slavery, allowing African Americans to marry, allowing deaf persons to marry, allowing women to vote, ending racial segregation, allowing inter-racial couples to marry, giving women equal employment opportunities, allowing same-sex couples to marry, allowing lesbians, gays, and bisexuals to serve openly in the military and to visit their partners and spouses in hospitals, etc. In each case, we observe the following sequence:
The status-quo in society is challenged by a minority,
A gradually increasing percentage of adults accept the need for change,
That number becomes a majority, and
As the minority who oppose change continues to shrink, they have always become regarded as bigots by the general population.
In 2011, for the first time, polls showed that a majority of American adults supported same-sex marriage (SSM). At the time of this ad in 2012-OCT, six states and the District of Columbia had legalized SSM. Plebiscites were scheduled for election day in 2012-NOV to legalize SSM in three more states. There are signs that many social and religious conservatives are concerned that a growing percentage of the population will consider them to be bigots. This ad attempts to disprove the bigotry charge by putting forth a biological basis for discriminating against loving, committed same-sex couples.
Denigration of "non-natural" marriages: Perhaps the most serious form of discrimination promoted by the ad is that all relationships that do not meet their qualifications of "natural marriage" are not worthy to be considered marriages. This includes marriages involving:
two persons of the same gender,
two persons of opposite gender in which:
One or both persons are infertile because of age,
One of both persons are infertile because of a naturally occurring disorder,
The man has had a vasectomy,
The woman has had "her tubes tied" or undergone a hysterectomy,
The couple decides to not have any children but to direct their energies to pursuing their careers,
The couple decides to remain childless as a contribution to lessen the overpopulation pressures in the world,
The couple decides to adopt a child,
The couple decides to have a "snowflake baby" implanted in the wive's uterus. These are surplus pre-embryos created during fertility treatments that are very rarely made available to unrelated couples, or
The couple decides to undergo artificial insemination involving the semen from another male.
By denigrating all of these types of marriages, NOM is attacking an enormous number of families and marriages of which a large majority are composed of one woman and one man.
Careful analysis of the NOM ad by the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER): AFER suggests that NOM knows that:
"... they know they can’t win if they tell the truth about marriage equality, so instead they perpetuate misinformation and lies laced with fear and prejudice.
Their latest propaganda piece is an attractive 'Marriage 101' video. It includes claims that NOM knows are not true – claims that AFER’s all-star legal team, led by distinguished co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies, expertly debunked during the 2010 federal district court trial of Prop. 8. That trial served at [sic] the nation’s truth commission on marriage equality.
What do loving, committed gay and lesbian couples have to do with drug dealers and pedophiles? Nothing. This is just demeaning people for no reason. Words like these do serious long-lasting harm, particularly to gay and lesbian kids.
AFER has uploaded the following video to You Tube:
We encourage visitors to this web site to view both the NOM and AFER ads. One of the great tragedies that is almost universally seen during major social change is the people generally only view information sources that agree with their existing opinion. They rarely look for material from "the other side."
The author is a 75 year old male who is the father of an newborn girl adopted back in the late 1960's. I seem to qualify under NOM's criteria as engaged in "irresponsible parenting" within an "unnatural marriage," for the simple reason that my daughter's DNA is not related to either my own DNA or my former wife's DNA. This type of discussion -- which is now becoming increasingly prominent among social and religious conservatives -- makes me hopping mad. It seems to contain elements of racism found two generations ago during the debate over interracial marriage.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.