Normally, I think it is more important to discuss issues outside of our debates on marriage (i.e. that issues such as poverty, sexism, racism, etc. are actually queer issues as well). However, Daniel Villarreal’s open letter to the National Organization for Marriage is right on the money. I think it’s important to post this as much as possible because I think it addresses a lot important issues that NOM continues to be completely unwilling to discuss. Moreover, Daniel’s letter is in response to an earlier queerty post I cited on my blog. NOM posted a reaction to Daniel’s post. However, this post completely misses Daniel’s point and in the process butcher’s Daniel’s writing. Since I agree fully with Daniel’s post on teaching children about queer sexualities, I think it is also important to post Daniel’s letter to show solidarity in that consensus. So, I am reposting the letter, in full:
First off, let me just say that I love reading your blog. It’s one of the best for keeping up with international queer activism, Catholic anti-adoption measures, and the slow shift towards gay marriage equality nationwide – thanks for keeping everyone informed!
It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in and I respect NOM for boldly defending their beliefs in the face of increasingly vociferous opposition. I actually think NOM and I agree on many issues, especially when it comes to protecting children and religious freedom. So I’d love your thoughts on a few questions – and not just Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown’s thoughts, but the thoughts of all your followers so we can really begin building bridges and understanding one another.
I know you and your supporters are all very busy, so you’ll be happy to know that all my questions are short and can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Take a look:
- Does NOM agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ finding that gay-straight student alliances and anti-bullying programs in schools reduce teen suicides?
- Does NOM continue to support ex-gay programs, even though the largest psychological organization in the United States has said such programs do more harm than good?
- Since NOM opposes gay adoption for the thousands of orphans still needing adoptive parents, does NOM think taxpayers should pay to keep these children in foster homes? Does NOM also think taxpayers should pay for the higher rates of mental problems, unemployment and homelessness that occur when these unadopted children age out of state care?
- Does NOM reject the finding of the over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists, physicians, and researchers in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology who say that kids raised by LGBT couples “do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults”?
- Considering the thousands of orphans needing parents and NOM’s opposition to states requiring religious adoption agencies let gays adpot, does NOM support the numerous non-religiousadoption agencies that place children with gay couples?
- Since NOM considers state-sanctioned “civil unions” “a Trojan Horse that will usher in same-sex marriage sooner rather than later,” does it also oppose bestowing any of the 1,138 federal rights afforded married heterosexual couples to gay couples, such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital or the right to dispose of a partner’s remains?
- Since NOM considers marriage “a public and legal institution is oriented towards protecting children by increasing the likelihood they have a mother and father,” does NOM consider any marriage that occurs outside of a church or without the intention of raising children invalid, or less deserving of federal rights and protections?
- Is NOM currently organizing mass protests, petitions, and media actions against the courts and lawyers that threaten traditional marriage and institutions of faith by making divorce an accepted mainstream practice, despite the many religious people who disagree with divorce on moral and religious grounds? Can we expect to see NOM supporting legislation that will ban divorce?
- Does NOM oppose Britney Spears’ one-day marriage? Does NOM feel that Newt Gingrich’s three adulterous marriages are more legitimate and deserving of rights than those of these legally-married, committed gay couples?
- Does NOM support the numerous Christian, Mormon, Jewish, and Muslim faith centers that practice their freedom of religion by marrying gay couples?
NOM, I have no doubt that deep down in your hearts you are a bunch of loving people deeply committed to the well-being of children, married couples, religious institutions, and communities across the nation. And as such, I trust that everyone in your organization will make the time not just to engage these questions to the best of their ability, but to read the full blog post which accompanies my letter so you may know how I arrived at these specific inquiries.
Despite my cordialness, make no mistake NOM – I oppose your rhetoric, and shudder at the unintended consequences that our nation reaps from your “well-intentioned” insistence that LGBT couples aren’t fit for marriage, religious acceptance, or raising kids. Although I’ve never once heard your official spokespeople call for violence against LGBT people, these very attacks happen almost every day, and it’s my opinion that you have a hand in them.
Let’s do you the favor of assuming that NOM opposes any violence against Americans regardless of their sexual orientation. After all, you’re only against gay marriage, gay adoption, and anti-bullying programs, not actual gay people themselves, right? But considering how much time you spend persuading the American public that LGBTs seek to corrupt children’s minds, outlaw religion, and force everyone to accept a way of life that should offend them, I must ask: Does NOM see no connection between its rhetoric and the verbal, physical, and psychological violence perpetuated against LGBT Americans?
I also challenge – no, dare – you to post these 10 questions on NOM’s blog, so that you and all your followers can join in on the discussion and help us all understand your efforts to create a nation where everyone values and protects the institution of marriage; religions freely practice their beliefs without persecution; and children grow up with loving families.
In return, I promise to answer any questions you pose to myself and our readers.
Thanks again so much for sharing our blog with your readers and taking the time to consider these very important questions. I very much look forward to your response so we may continue discussion on these important social issues.
Day Editor of Queerty.com