Marching for Hate


Image from ncronline.org

Image from ncronline.org

Apparently the days of marching in support of civil rights, equality, and justice are long gone.  When one thinks of politically powered marches, the great marches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement and the marches of thousands of LGBTQ individuals during Pride come to mind. These are examples of peaceful “protests” being used for good, in an attempt to advance the world. However, on June 19th America witnessed a march of a different caliber.

The National Organization for Marriage hosted the second annual “March for Marriage” on June 19th in support of traditional marriage. The event, held in Washington, D.C., began in 2013 during the Supreme Court Case Perry vs. California (the case to strike down California’s Prop 8).

On their site, the NOM has this to say about the March for Marriage: “The March for Marriage sends a clear message to every level of society that a majority of Americans still stand for marriage as it has been traditionally and historically defined and handed down through the centuries. In the face of elite and powerful special-interest groups bent on redefining this cherished institution, this March powerfully proclaims that marriage as the union of one man and one woman is our culture’s best means of linking mothers and fathers to one another and to their children.”

Now of course, this raises a question: How is a group standing up for their beliefs hate?

Ignoring how telling an entire group of individuals that your religious beliefs should affect their marriage, and that they’re sinful, corrupt, etc. is viewed as hate by most logical individuals, it’s time to take a look at their list of speakers and supporters.

Dr. Jim Garlow,  a pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church, was a speaker at the March for Marriage. Rather than simply being a supporter of traditional marriage, he’s notorious for blatantly insensitive and hateful comments. He’s likened same-sex couples having children to children losing their parents on 9/11 and he’s compared same-sex marriage to the enslavement of African-Americans. Speaking of how Christians should defend traditional marriage he’s encouraged them to rise up against America like Dietrich Boenhoffer rose up against the Nazis.

Brian Brown, the president of the NOM (the creator of the March for Marriage), was also a speaker for the march. In the past he’s compared same-sex marriage to pedophilia and said that a family breaking down through same-sex marriage is worse than the effect death and divorce has on a family.

At the event itself Rep. Tim Huelskamp said that “real men” need to stand up for traditional marriage, insinuating that being LGBTQ and/or supporting same-sex marriage makes a man less of a man. John Eastman, NOM’s chairman, compared marriage equality in all 50 states to the Dred Scott decision in which the Supreme Court ruled all African Americans could not be citizens .

These are just a few of several speakers and supporters of the NOM’s March for Marriage. While there were qualified, respectful speakers simply promoting their views, the glorification of individuals notorious for intolerant, hateful speech discredits the entire march and turns it into a day of hate. It’s one thing to support traditional marriage, but it’s an entirely different thing to be part of a specific event/movement led by individuals who compare same-sex marriage to 9/11, slavery, and death/divorce. It’s kind of like having misandrists speak at a feminist rally.

So, to the proponents of traditional marriage I ask one thing of you: Please be more careful of which events you choose to give your support to. If the March for Marriage was a tolerant statement of beliefs, it wouldn’t be outright hate, but those leading the event were anything but tolerant. If anything, participating in events like this discredits your movement and weakens your message.

To the proponents of a redefinition of marriage: There’s some good news! An estimated 2,000 individuals participated in the March for Marriage, a mere fraction of the  200,000 participants in the Washington D.C. Pride event.

The NOM advocated the use of #March4Marriage on Twitter, and LGBTQ supporters took over the hashtag almost immediately showing their support of same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples posted wedding pictures, pictures with their children, and individuals from all walks of life tweeted their issues with the March for Marriage.

Lastly, support of same-sex marriage is at an all time high in our country, moving above 50%. The times are changing, and while we should remain respectful of those who support traditional marriage, we must be prepared to distinguish the line between a statement of belief and outright hate.

 

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