I recently came across this ad from the National Organisation for Marriage, a US anti-same-sex marriage organisation. It’s very clever in its use of minorities and also the fact that all the states named are traditional “liberal” states. This allows for it to portray itself as being essentially moderate (Not full of Southern bible bashers) and to mobilise conservative voters in blue states.
But what’s really fascinating is the use of language. Note the phrase “Some advocates of same-sex marriage”. They are, of course telling the truth. Some extreme advocates of same-sex marriage do say loopy things. But then, some extreme anti-same-sex marriage advocates are anti-semitic, racist and want to kill homosexuals. Do we really believe that those nutters speak for the whole anti-same-sex marriage lobby? Of course not. The key message at the heart of this ad is that same-sex marriage is somehow being made compulsory, that all churches will be forced to recognise same-sex marriage, which is of course ridiculous.
One actor (They’re all actors) talks about how concerned she is that her children are learning that gay marriage is okay. Is that really a problem? 50 years ago interracial marriage would have been in the same category. Should they raise that issue too? After all, President Obama is only half black, but his wife has two black parents? What sort of example is he setting for that woman’s children, loving his wife and raising his children properly? Disgraceful!
I can understand there are many people who do not wish to be part of a same-sex marriage, and nor should they be forced to. But to claim that it will damage traditional marriage is just plain odd. The biggest single threat to traditional marriage is adultery. Why don’t they advocate banning that? I suspect that is something conservative “family values” advocates might have a problem with, for obvious reasons. Airport toilet, anyone?