Identifying your (dwindling) opposition

Timothy Kincaid

January 4th, 2013

On NomBlog, the National Organization for Marriage describes a letter issued in opposition to equality as “An extraordinary show of support for true marriage by a wide spectrum of faith communities in Illinois”. But that letter illustrates just how narrow that spectrum has become.

There are a variety of signatories on the bottom, but the logos atop the letter tell the story.

Our denominational opposition in Illinois consists of:

* Catholic Conference of Illinois
* Anglican Church in North America
* The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
* The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
* The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod

That may seem like a “wide spectrum” at first glance, and quite diverse, but when you look closer it reveals how few denominations have signed on to oppose civil marriage in the state. Our opponents are the Catholic hierarchy (lay Catholics support equality), Mormons, Muslims, and two Protestant denominations: the churches that left the Episcopal Church when she became pro-gay, and the smaller of the two major Lutheran churches (the other blesses same-sex unions).

It can no longer be said that the battle over civil marriage is between the gay community and people of faith. Far too many in the religious community have either disengaged or defected to our side.

– TK


January 4th, 2013

“It can no longer be said that the battle over civil marriage is between the gay community and people of faith.”—Frustratingly, it can be and is said, both within the gay community and people of faith. Sometimes it’s just carelessness for the sake of convenience, just as I might phrase an argument from a male point of view for simplicity, without intending to exclude women, but all too often it’s deliberate.

Christians (for that’s the faith I’m most familiar with, though the same surely applies to others) against gay anything, deny vehemently that those who think there’s nothing wrong with gay relationships cannot be “real” Christians at all. Gay people who have an axe to grind against religion, however legitimate it may be in itself, would rather stick with a broad attack against anyone and anything associated with religion than to recognize that, in doing so, they’re hurting and pushing away people who are or would be their allies on practical matters. It’s all very depressing.


January 4th, 2013

There are other religious bodies that oppose marriage equality but, for organizational reasons, or because they don’t have any money to donate to have their logo included, or simply because they don’t want to be associated with with Mormons, or Catholics or Muslims, would not lend their name or logo.

Absence may not indicate disengagement.

Some group of highly conservative clergy is being organized in Illinois to “speak out against this misguided effort.” But, since they don’t have a national staff to pay, they aren’t sending out fundraising letters.


January 5th, 2013

I’m honestly surprised, given the pro-Christian (and often specifically pro-Catholic) bias of NOM, that they would allow any Islamic organization to work with them. For that matter, I’m surprised that any Islamic organization WOULD work with them. It’s a given that NOM and a lot of its allies are generally opposed to Islam in America and most Muslims are very aware of this.


January 5th, 2013

Here’s what I really think: NOM needed money to send out the letter. So they said “Any organization giving $xxxxx or more will have their logo at the top of the letter.” And these are the five organizations that had the money. NOM is all about using gay marriage as an ATM.


January 5th, 2013

Oh oh. When I read the tiny print on this letterhead BTB has provided I see the Churches claim marriage is: “…faithful union of one man and one woman…”

The LDS Church still, to this day, practices polygamy in their Temples. They do still perform ‘sealings’ of one man to multiple women. Albeit the women have been dead but they still perform this ritual. This is not by some renegade offshoot or disenfranchised sect…it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons).

An LDS man can have another LDS woman married to him in the Temple if his first wife has passed on. So, this “one man one woman” is only in this life but doctrinally it is a lie or being disingenuous.

And so, the LDS Church should be wary of where they put their logo.

Michael C

January 5th, 2013

“I’m honestly surprised… that they [NOM] would allow any Islamic organization to work with them.”

NOM will use anyone/thing they can to create animus toward non-heterosexuals. During their wildly successful “DumpStarbucks” campaign, they pushed heavily in predominantly Islamic countries. They even boasted about using Muslims to try to hurt Starbuck’s overseas sales.

It is also their goal to propagate the idea that every religious person in the world is anti-gay.


January 5th, 2013

jpeckjr: possibly… but while I don’t recall seeing logos before, they used to get together much longer lists.


January 5th, 2013

I’m surprised to see the Mormon logo there. I thought they were being way more circumspect on the topic lately, since their feelings were so badly hurt after California.

And I wonder where the Jewish representation is, because it certainly exists.

Steve Kindle

January 5th, 2013

Nice item on the (ahem) wide support of NOM. I am doing a series responding to NOM’s Q&A from their website in my blog,, if I may plug this here.


January 6th, 2013

@Michael C.

NOM wrote about Starbucks being vulnerable in its international markets, but their Arabic and Turkish site have the same number of “dumpers” as their English site. I think the whole muslim/international angle was just a way to make the project seem like success to their donors.

Ben in Oakland

January 6th, 2013

As always, you can reject the entirety of conservative Christian belief, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists. But announce that “Gay is OK”, and suddenly hundreds of years of interdenominational battles are no longer important.

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2013

Guys: this was not the National Organization for Marriage. While NOM was praising the group (and may have even been in some way involved with its organization) this is a separate effort.

My bad. I should have been clearer.


January 6th, 2013

As someone raised in the LCMS, I am shocked that they would sign a letter with any other denomination, particularly with non-christians. LCMS is notoriously anti-ecumenical. They won’t even share communion with other Lutheran denominations – except maybe one or two other super-conservative Lutheran sects.


January 6th, 2013

@Timothy Kincaid. Then, as I understand it, this letter was posted on NOMBlog but did not originate with NOM, but from some other source.

Now I’m wondering if the logo’d organizations even gave their permission at all. Tor’s note about the LCMS is pertinent.

Curiouser and curiouser . . .

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2013


As I understand it, the churches issued it and NOM reported it. The Trib also notes the letter so I’m thinking that it is sad, but legit.


January 9th, 2013

Thanks for clearing that up.

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