This, I Did Not Expect

Rob Tisinai

May 25th, 2012

A couple years ago, before I was blogging at Box Turtle, a man showed up at a National Organization for Marriage rally, carrying this sign:

In a decidedly emotional reaction, I redesigned NOM’s logo to reflect the sentiment:

I expected some controversy, and when my head settled I offered a more considered analysis of the situation (though NOM’s later dishonesty relieved my fear that I’d treated them unfairly).

However, I discovered something today that I did not expect: An antigay Facebook page has taken the image for its cover photo:

Click to enlarge

Facebook will probably kill the page, but you can see a screen grab of it here.

Let me issue the usual caveats:

  • You can’t judge our opponents by a few of their fringe members (the source of my misgivings about my own graphic, which I explored in the more considered evaluation linked to above)
  • The page itself may be nothing more than a nasty and stupid joke.
  • And in any case, it’s a tiny group — barely more than 40 people who work with, go to school with, or live next to gays and want to kill them.

Even so, this development stunned me. You really can’t parody some of these folks. I know that, but being confronted with it still astonishes me.

And in case you’re wondering, I won’t demand that they stop using my image. If I can help them damage their cause — help expose them as a group of murderous bigots with whom no decent person would associate — then I say huzzah!


May 25th, 2012

It may be true that we “can’t judge our opponents by a few of their fringe members” — and such appeals to caution and reason are refreshing to see. But many of history’s vilest tyrants started out on the fringes of their respective movements as well. We really do have to keep a watchful eye on the crazies, because they often succeed in seducing fence-sitters or the less ideologically devout… and then it’s off to the races.


May 25th, 2012

I would first argue that the fringe often state what the so-called safe folks are thinking but are too polite to espouse openly. Remember how quickly Nazi Germany went from being “tolerant” to being a killing machine? That’s because it suddenly became acceptable to unleash the id that existed all along. That’s what the fringe does — they legitimize formerly unacceptable behavior by breaking taboos.

Secondly, I would investigate whether or not you’re entitled to damages. Sure, it might be nice to allow them to damage themselves, but they’re just as happy to do so with whatever they find.

But here you have a chance to hurt them in the wallet. And that’s too important to overlook.

Ben in Oakland

May 26th, 2012

Rob, works of art are copyrighted the moment they are created. These people stole your design.

Something to consider.


May 26th, 2012

Never Underestimate your Opponent.

Skooter McGoo

May 26th, 2012

The cowards have taken down all the calls for gay people to be put to death and blocked me, guess they didn’t like being called out for advocating violence but they soon forget screenshots are forever.

Eric in Oakland

May 26th, 2012

Andrew, that is not how it works. I suggest that you look at the Milgram studies. The majority of people will follow whoever is in authority, even if the orders violate their conscience. Tragedies such as what happened in Nazi Germany say nothing about what most people believed or approved.


May 26th, 2012

From reading the comments by “Gay Marriage Is Wrong”, whom I’m guessing is the eponymous page author, I’d say he or she is a kid. The comments under that name and several other supporters commenting at the site are incredibly childish. I don’t mean that in a pejorative sense, they really do sound like young adolescents getting their kicks saying rude words anonymously in front of adults.

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