250,000 Children? Piffle!
March 24th, 2013
I might have a little crush on NOM’s Communications Director, Thomas Peters — or perhaps I just mean it’s been a long time since a 30-year-old has given me such delight. And he continues to deliver.
NOM posted this excerpt of an NPR story on their blog (sorry, they didn’t link to the story itself). As you read, keep in mind they’re happy about what it says:
Surveys suggest that kids younger than 18 in same-sex families still number fewer than a quarter-million.
“It’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent,” says Thomas Peters of the National Organization for Marriage, a leading group opposing same-sex marriage.
“The difference is that children raised by gay parents are very much in the media’s eye,” he says. “We see it on Modern Family. We see this hugely blown out of proportion. It’s why, by the way, in Gallup [polls], Americans believe that a third to a fourth of Americans are gay.”
Don’t you see Peters’ point? Let me paraphrase: We’re only denying family protections to a quarter of a million kids! That’s 250 thousand, not, like 250 gazillion! That’s barely the population of Orlando, only about 60,000 more people than live in Salt Lake City. What’s all this fuss over just a quarter of million kids? I mean, a quarter is somewhere around 25 cents, and nobody even cares about pennies!
And NOM — which is all about the kids, right? — is highlighting Peters’ quote, not apologizing for it.
Herein lies NOM’s strange and revealing contradiction. Peters, in this quote, is minimizing not just the number of kids in same-sex homes, but the number of gays as well, presumably to give the impression that this population of children is unlikely to grow. Factor in NOM’s other rhetoric, and you’re left with this:
- We need to ban same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and father, and every child is important.
- We can refute the need for same-sex marriage because only a quarter of a million kids are raised in such households, and they can be dismissed as “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent.”
It seems the importance of children to NOM depends entirely on their argument of the moment.
Along these lines I’d like to detour for a moment into another NOM post called, “Examples of Excellent Testimony Against SSM in Minnesota” (their title, not mine). They approvingly quote this bit from Doug Mainwaring, their favorite gay who opposes gay marriage:
Doug (gay man): “marriage isn’t about love, commitment and responsibility–it’s about kids. Ignore the media push and adult demands for same-sex marriage.”
That is one of their “examples of excellent testimony.” It leaves me thinking NOM has no idea why married parents are such a good thing for kids. Of course, it’s perfectly in line with Thomas Peters’ recent tweet about marriage: “Orientation doesnt matter, sexual difference does!”
Yeah. Marriage is all about the kids. But for NOM, apparently, a loveless, uncommitted, irresponsible opposite-sex couple is better for those kids than any same-sex couple you can find, because sexual difference matters so much more than those trivial concerns.
I’ll be keeping an eye on Thomas Peters. It’s fun. My only worry is that NOM could realize something might be wrong if your opponents are eager to publicize everything your Communications Director has to say.