No California Doctors Were Harmed In The Making Of This Commercial
April 8th, 2009
She says she’s a “California doctor,” but she’s actually an actress playing one on T.V.
That about as accurate as things get on the “Crazy Dingbat Insane Ookie Spookie” advertising campaign unleashed by Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage (NOM). In fact, that “California doctor” actress was one of many that had auditioned for the campaign. The Human Rights Campaign was able to obtain videos of some of the auditions for the ad:
According to the HRC, the ad is set to run eight times per day in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and California. Because the ad is slated to play in states where marriage equality is at the fore, it’s important to look not only at the bad acting on display in the ad, but the false information behind it.
“I’m a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job.”
This California “doctor” refers to a case that has nothing to do with marriage. Last year, the California Supreme Court ruled that a doctor that offers artificial insemination services cannot pick and chose who to offer services to.
This was an important decision, and it should have been a no-brainer. Think of it: what if the decision had gone the other way. It would then have been legal for a doctor to refuse to treat any LGBT person for any illness, condition, or injury simply because doing so might have run counter to their “religious beliefs.” Is that how Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage would have it?
“I’m part of a NJ church group punished by the government because we can’t support same-sex marriage.”
As we reported last December, this “New Jersey church group” story has become a new favorite falsehood in an attempt to scare people of faith. This “church group” actually refers to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which is not a church. It operates the Auditorium Pavilion, which was made exempt from state property tax in exchange for being open for public use and access. It is not a religious facility, nor are several other facilities built on land owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association — including stores, restaurants, hotels, private homes and a beach boardwalk alongside a public beach.
The facilities were granted a tax exemption by the state of New Jersey on the provision that they be maintained as public accommodations. (Two chapels are tax exempt due to religious use, but they are not a part of the dispute.) The Auditorium Pavilion has been rented out to the general public for all sorts of events, including concerts, debates and even Civil War reenactments — none of which are religious in character. In March 2007, a lesbian couple was rejected by the Association when they tried to rent the Pavilion for a civil union ceremony. They filed a complaint with the State Division on Civil Rights and won. A state commissioner explained:
“When people hear the words ‘open space,’ we want them to think not just of open air and land, but that it is open to all people,” said [Lisa Jackson, state commissioner of environmental protection]. “And when the public subsidizes it with tax breaks, it goes with the expectation that it is not going to be parsed out, whether it be by activity or any particular beliefs.”
The state of New Jersey didn’t challenge the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s beliefs about homosexuality. It only held that a public facility must remain open to the public — and that means all of the public.
“I’m a Massachusetts parent helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is OK.”
This refers to David Parker, the Massachusetts parent who sued his local school district when they provided students with a book called Who’s in a Family? The book illustrated various family constructions: single parents, mom-dad-kids, grandparents, mixed-race families, and same-sex parents. Parker complained to the school district, demanding that the district change its curriculum to accommodate his religious belief that any discussion of same-sex parenting must be excluded — including any conversations about children of gay or lesbian parents.
Now this is a difficult requirement for the school district to meet. After all, there were children of gay and lesbian parents in those same schools. Should teachers pretend that their parents don’t exist? Should the district bar those parents from school functions? Should kids be prohibited from talking about their families?
The school district found Parker’s demand to be impossible to meet. And besides, they weren’t teaching that “gay marriage is OK,” just that it happens and some of the children from those families attend school, and other kids in school shouldn’t treat them badly because of it.
That didn’t satisfy Parker, who sued the school district in Federal Court. In February 2007, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed the lawsuit. Parker appealed, but the three judge appeals panel unanimously upheld Judge Wolf’s decision:
“Public schools are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas, or even participate in discussions about them,” the court said in its ruling.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
So there you have it. Three claims, three lies. That’s a remarkable achievement for a group that wants to stand for truth.