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NOM’s New Ad is Unimpressive

Timothy Kincaid

April 30th, 2009

The National Organization for Marriage has released their new ad starring Carrie Prejean, Miss California. Let’s take a look at it:

YouTube Preview Image

When asked a question about same-sex marriage, a young contestant answers honestly.

Carrie Prejean: “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. That’s how I was raised and that’s how I think that it should be between a man and a woman.”

She is immediately attacked.

Perez Hilton: “She’s a dumb BEEP, OK?”

When a pro-marriage group expresses concerns about how same-sex marriage will impact religious groups, they are called liars and bigots.

Joe Solmonese: “It is no longer palatable in this country, OK, to be an outright bigot. If you want to deny us these rights you need to do it by lying and misrepresenting”

Gay marriage activists attack people for supporting marriage because they don’t want to debate the consequences of same-sex marriage. They want to silence opposition.

Some of the nation’s foremost scholars warn that gay marriage can create widespread legal conflicts for individuals, small businesses and religious organizations.

Please help support marriage with your donation.

Here are the problems I see with this ad:

1. It relies on old and trivial news. By now everyone has seen the little tiff between Carrie Prejean and Perez Hilton. And while some may sympathize with Carrie, it’s hardly the sort of incident upon which to base a significant political position.

2. It gives voice to NOM’s opposition. When your dear friend indignantly says, “she called me FAT!!”, it may not be admirable but the very first thing you automatically do is look to her waist to see if it’s true. So it isn’t wise to remind viewers that some consider NOM to be bigoted and untruthful; it places the association in their minds.

3. It has no point. The theme is “gay marriage supporters are bad because they called me names”. And seeking to demonize your opponent may not be the wisest choice when you’ve just reminded your viewer that you are being called a bigot.

4. It has no audience. The thought of “widespread legal conflicts” hardly seems threatening when compared to the Swine Flu or the economy. And most viewers won’t consider themselves or anyone they know to be likely impacted by “widespread legal conflicts”, whatever that may mean.

5. It has no authority. Most viewers have never heard of Douglas Laycock and while he may be a legal scholar, an uncredited allusion to a virtually nameless law professor is not likely to win the support of those waivering.

6. It is dishonest. Douglas Laycock actually supports marriage equality. His concern, as written, was that adequate religious protections be incorporated into Connecticut’s law to stop people like NOM from playing the victim. It doesn’t get much more deceptive than to quote your opponent’s mockery of you as though it were praise.

UPDATE:

Though NOM’s ad was pulled by Youtube, it has been reposted by Paul VillaReal at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA2yC8VAhzU

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

“It doesn’t get much more deceptive than to quote your opponent’s mockery of you as though it were praise.”

But that’s exactly what they did with Colbert’s Gathering storm parody. they thanksed him for mocking them.

You gotta love these people. I’m glad they think it is important to keep stirring the pot. i have long maintained that they are not the enemy. The enemy is the closet and the ocnspiracy of silence that supports it.

The more they talk, the more other people talk.

hazemyth
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Beat me to it. But here are the relevant quotes:

“I’ve always thought Stephen Colbert was a double-agent, pretending to pretend to be a conservative, to pull one over Hollywood. Now I’m sure,” said Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage.

“Thank you Stephen for playing our ad in full on national television—for free. HRC eat your heart out. Plus we all had a great chuckle, too!” said Brian Brown, NOM’s Executive Director. “Where can I make a donation to the National Organization for Colbert?”

AJD
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

I still think full marriage equality nationwide won’t happen for many years, but one step toward our goal is the anti-gay types imploding. We have this, that Rep. Foxx and those parents in Iowa who are exploiting the death of their son from AIDS.

These people have zero facts on their side, and the only thing they can do is push people’s emotional buttons and rely on remaining homophobia in society.

That’ll be around for a long time, unfortunately, but these people can’t help but show what a bunch of sh*theads they are, no matter how they might try to spin their bigotry into “love the sinner, hate the sin” or “we’re not anti-gay; we’re pro-marriage!”

Rik in Orange County
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Since “Miss California” does not espouse my feelings on this subject…..and I’m sure the feelings of thousands of other California residents….she should not be able to use the title “Miss California”. I urge others to request that her title be revoked.

Bruno
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

@Rik in Orange County: She won’t have the title for much longer by the looks of it. Which plays right into NOM’s hands, but I do think we need this idiot as their spokesperson. She’s Sarah Palin with the (new) tits but without that special something that makes frightwingers go ga-ga.

CPT_Doom
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Rik and Bruno

From the few reports already in the media, the California pageant people are really p*ssed off at Ms. Prejean, not the least because she has hired her own PR company, won’t return their phone calls, and appears to be abandoning her duties as Miss CA. If she keeps this up, they might not only strip her of her crown, but could likely sue her for breach of contract (I am sure she had to sign something before winning the state pageant).

Alex
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

“Gay marriage activists attack people for supporting marriage because they don’t want to debate the consequences of same-sex marriage. They want to silence opposition.”

NOM just spent over a million dollars for the chance to go on television and say anything they want, and all they have to say is that they’re being silenced.

This is getting sad.

Bruno
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

@CPT_Doom

If they’re smart they can play it that way. Show that she’s completely PURPOSELY not fulfilling her duties and eschewing their communications. But they can’t be hasty in letting her go, they have to show that they made a good faith effort to try and work with her alongside her controversial opinions.

Ben in Oakland
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Apparently, the ad was just pulled due to– get this– copyright violations filed by Hilton.

Oh irony, irony, irony.

I hope they spent a bundle producing it.

RU486
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Their message has been reduced to “mean gays are picking on us.” Not very effective. If they were smart (and they’re not), they would have stuck with “we have to protect the innocent children,” which is always a winner. Meanwhile, over at the IFI, Laurie Higgins has reverted to the “slippery slope leading to polygamy” argument. An oldie, but a goodie.

Timothy Kincaid
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

For those weilding the slippery slope argument, I want to ask them:

Knowing that they were a slippery slope that led directly to so many rights for gays, if you could go back now and reverse civil rights for blacks, would you?

Bill S
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Alex-
I’m still amazed that they had over a million bucks to spend, and instead of using it to, y’know, directly help families in need, they decided to spend it villifying GLBT folk.
Nice to know where their priorities lie,

RU486
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

If you ask me, opposite-sex marriage is the beginning of the slippery slope that leads to polygamy. After all, if a man can marry a woman, what’s to stop a man from marry two women?

Flash! Church and state are supposed to be separate! at Lesbian Dad
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

[…] grist for the mill” file.  The National Organization for MisinformationMarriage has amplified their claim that marriage equality somehow quashes, instead of clears the path for, true religious freedom. […]

Jason D
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

it’s always been my contention that straight marriage leads easily to polygamy, incest, beastiality, necrophilia and all sorts of strangeness all on it’s own.

If you look at the proposed FMA and DOMA not a single word of it prevents any of these things from happening.

They keep writing “marriage is one man and one woman” but they seem to forget to explain what constitutes a “man” and a “woman” and forget entirely about the fact that polygamists don’t get married in groups, A man with six wives has six marriages — each marriage only has one man and one woman.

John
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Pretty lame ad. Not as bad, or rather worthy of parody, as the “gathering storm” nonsense but still lame.

Ephilei
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

@Timothy

FYI, the video no longer plays due to a so-called copyright violation.

How hypocritical that NOM criticizes pro-gays for supposedly “silencing opposition” but is prohibiting their own words from being examined in the wrong circles.

a. mcewen
April 30th, 2009 | LINK

Actually it was Perez Hilton who caused the video to be removed but NOM is still in a conundrum. If NOM complains then it can be easily pointed out that the group did the same thing with the “Gathering Storm” audition videos

werdna
May 1st, 2009 | LINK

Timothy-Following you off topic, I love your question about the slippery slope argument. The sad truth is that, when it comes to marriage anyway, many of our opponents do wish to see a return to an older era where marriage is not a contract of equals, where men and women have different legal rights and responsibilities within the marriage. Forcing them to make that explicit won’t help their case though!

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