Deal With It, Maggie

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The fear-mongering ad by National Organization For Marriage is here. HRC's rebuttal is here. Good As You's response is here. There is not much I can do to rebut the lies that Maggie Gallagher is touting here in an ad designed to ignite culture war hatred of gays, replete with apocalyptic imagery, and ominous Beck-like invocations of pink-fascist doom. But I can note that as one of the first and longest campaigners for marriage equality, my own commitment to religious freedom in America is as ferocious and as impassioned as any Christianist's - and I'd be happy to compare my record with Gallagher's.

I've been prepared to back the Boy Scouts and the St Patrick's Day parade against my gay brothers and sisters on this score; I've opposed hate crime laws protecting gays; I've even defended the right of Christianists to fire employees because they are gay. I went through an extended form of ostracism in the gay world for a long time because of my refusal to countenance anti-religious bigotry, just as I refused to countenance anti-gay bigotry. This was not the easiest path but it remains for me the only principled one. In so far as intolerance of people of faith exists, I will join any movement to protect their rights and defend their dignity.

But if there's a social stigma attached to the public expression of homophobia, that is just a function of living in a free society.

So deal with it, guys. And take one small moment, if you can, to think how gay people have lived in a society that, until very recently, assumed that the very heart of our lives was evil and wrong and unmentionable. If we survived millennia of that, pounded into our minds and souls often by our own families, as early as our first consciousness, backed up in many places by the threat of violence, I have a feeling evangelicals can survive a little cultural disapproval. There was a time when Christians actually embraced such disapproval as a sign of their divine calling.

But that was when Christianity was a faith and not a means for one political party to grasp and maintain power.

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