Kudos to the Human Rights Campaign for bringing to our attention the humiliating exercise it was for these actors to audition for the new campaign for the “National Organization for Marriage.”

First, let’s take a look at these poor people, with their sorrowful eyes.  They just want to tell their stories!  Let them speak of their persecution!  They are afraid – afraid that their freedom will be taken away by those who would seek to promote such unholy unions as legally recognized homosexual couplings.

Be prepared to wipe a tear from your eye as you hear of such travesties as the California doctor who must choose between her faith – and her job (dunh dun DUUUNHHH)!

Oh, yes.  I’m afraid too.  Afraid that actors even agreed to participate in this green-screen, cheapFX hatefest.  According to sources cited by the HRC, the ad will run “eight times per day in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and California.”

I don’t really understand the ad.  How is same-sex marriage changing the way they live?  This message is not even cohesive.  If you’re going to propagate idiocy, give me something more than some dour-looking folk in Kohl’s casuals and cheesy “the-rapture-cometh” lightning.

You can still view, and freely mock, audition tapes at Wired, which was happy to pile on the bandwagon and blow a raspberry at this pathetic display. For more information on this, visit the Human Rights Campaign’s website EndtheLies.org, “a new HRC action-based website launched to confront the lies and distortions repeatedly used to defeat LGBT equality measures.”

The HRC also provides the following handy rebuttal:

“The Real Truth Behind the Fake Ad”

The general argument of the ad is that the push for marriage equality isn’t just about rights for same-sex couples, it’s about imposing contrary values on people of faith.  The examples they cite in the ad are:

 

(1)   A California doctor who must choose between her faith and her job

(2)   A member of New Jersey church group which is punished by the state because they can’t support same-sex marriage

(3)   A Massachusetts parent who stands by helpless while the state teaches her son that gay marriage is okay

 

The facts indicate that (1) refers to the Benitez decision in California, determining that a doctor cannot violate California anti-discrimination law by refusing to treat a lesbian based on religious belief, (2) refers to the Ocean Grove, New Jersey Methodist pavilion that was open to the general public for events but refused access for civil union ceremonies (and was fined by the state for doing so) and (3) refers to the Parker decision in Massachusetts, where parents unsuccessfully sought to end public school discussions of family diversity, including of same-sex couples. 

 

All three examples involve religious people who enter the public sphere, but don’t want to abide by the general non-discriminatory rules everyone else does.  Both (1) and (2) are really about state laws against sexual orientation discrimination, rather than specifically about marriage.  And (3) is about two pairs of religious parents trying to impose their beliefs on all children in public schools.    

The real facts of each case are:

1) The California doctor entered a profession that promises to “first, do no harm” and the law requires her to treat a patient in need – gay of straight, Christian or Muslim – regardless of her religion beliefs.  The law does not, and cannot, dictate her faith – it can only insist that she follow her oath as a medical professional.

2) The New Jersey church group runs, and profits from, a beachside pavilion that it rents out to the general public for all manner of occasions -concerts, debates and even Civil War reenactments- but balks at permitting couples to hold civil union ceremonies there.  The law does not challenge  the church organization’s beliefs about homosexuality – it merely requires that a pavilion that had been open to all for years comply with laws protecting everyone from discrimination, including gays and lesbians.

 

3) The Massachusetts parent disagrees with an aspect of her son’s public education, a discussion of the many different kinds of families he will likely encounter in life, including gay and lesbian couples.  The law does not stop her from disagreeing, from teaching him consistently with her differing beliefs at home, or even educating her child in a setting that is more in line with her faith traditions.  But it does not allow any one parent to dictate the curriculum for all students based on her family’s religious traditions. 

 

Seriously, “Actors.”  I know, and George W. Bush knows, that it’s hard to put food on your families.  But have a little self-respect and say no to poorly informed hate-mongering. 

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