Where’s the Backlash?

Rob Tisinai

July 29th, 2013

Our victories at the Supreme Court came over a month ago and I’m still waiting for the backlash.

The National Organization for Marriage is obviously hoping for one, and they’ve reported gleefully on France’s violent riots — sorry, inspiring demonstrations — against marriage equality. But nothing like that has happened here. And today we get this graph from Gallup:

It wouldn’t be quite right to say support for marriage equality has increased since the decision, or the opposition has diminished. The poll’s margin of error don’t grant us that much certainty. But there sure isn’t any sign of a backlash.



July 29th, 2013

I’m trying to remember the last meaningful amount of popular backlash to expansion of gay rights. Probably the voting out of those Iowa Supreme Court justices, though it’s not clear that was much of one- like Prop 8, just exposure of the poplar split that existed at the time in those places.

I believe the great bulk of the latent conservatism on gay rights and anti-gay animus in the American electorate was exposed back in 2003 and mid 2004-mid 2005. And has incrementally expended itself since. All the right wing fishing expeditions since haven’t been able to find significantly more.


July 29th, 2013

Americans are not as passionate as the French about certain things including this. We’re sneakier. Where the French riot, we prefer to sneak up behind that nice same-sex couple and garrotte them. Then we run away.

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2013

It seems that NOM has turned off their comments entirely… or no one at all is reading their blog anymore

Mike Airhart

July 29th, 2013

While polling trends are generally favorable, they don’t reflect the intense emotion (extremism and desperation) of the losing side.

I have seen an anecdotal increase in reported antigay hate crimes, especially around Chicago and New York. And I have seen many well-known conservative religious leaders attempt to incite violence through the threat and projection of rampant molestation and national doom.

So while overall public sentiment may be improving, that doesn’t necessarily mean a harsh backlash isn’t happening. We won’t be able to measure any backlash from the perspective of crime stats for another year.


July 30th, 2013

Oh, there will be a backlash — Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, Brian Brown, et al. will be working overtime to create one, just the way the religious right did to create a backlash against Roe v. Wade. And a lot of it will take the form of an increase in attacks on gay and lesbian people. Those sorts of attacks, though, seem to have been on the increase for a while, so I’m not sure how much they can be linked to the DOMA/Prop 8 decisions. I suspect it’s more a matter of a reaction to the increasing acceptance of equal rights for GLBTs in general, aided and abetted by the usual suspects.

One thing that might help tone it down is to lay the blame for those crimes right at the feet of the ones who are creating the climate. Dan Savage’s remark about Tony Perkins going to work and sitting on a pile of dead queer kids hit home — Perkins’ reaction was fast and outraged, and when that happens, you know you’ve hit a nerve. We just need to do more of that.


July 30th, 2013

A coda to my previous comment: Remember, these are hate groups. It’s about time we started treating them like it.


July 30th, 2013

This is the biggest (and most promising) difference between Windsor/Hollingsworth and Lawrence (which produced a short backlash in polling about the morality of homosexuality) and Goodridge (which produced a clear backlash as seen in the 2004 amendments). Hopefully this means that continued victories will beget continued momentum.

Secret Advocate

July 30th, 2013

I look forward to seeing Brian Brown disrupting the U.S. Open this September by running onto the court half-naked, wearing a mask, and carrying a flare.

After all, if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.

Secret Advocate

July 30th, 2013

@Timothy Kincaid:

“It seems that NOM has turned off their comments entirely… or no one at all is reading their blog anymore.”

I had noticed the same thing. From the timing, I suspect that it has to do with Thomas Peters’s unfortunate injury.

Perhaps he was the moderator of the comments. (He has commented himself to the blog posts.) Perhaps others in the office who have been or could be the moderators are now unable to do so because they are too busy taking over his duties.

Whatever the reason, I sense that the reason why there are zero comments to all of the recent blog posts is that no one is available to moderate them. The NOM has either “turned off” the commenting capability, or any comments that people attempt to post do not clear moderation because no one is serving as the moderator.

I find it hard to believe that the regulars over there suddenly and jointly agreed to stop commenting.

Timothy Kincaid

July 30th, 2013


Another possibility is that the only regular pro-NOMers were all Peters using pseudonyms.

Nah, that’s not likely. You’re probably right.


July 30th, 2013

I think there is a backlash — the stuff that got reported yesterday in Baton Rouge.



July 31st, 2013

NOM’s comments were turned off prior to Peters’ accident.

Rob Tisinai

July 31st, 2013

The comments were shut down during the Supreme Court deliberations. Much hunch is that they were trying to avoid creating new evidence of anti-gay animus (because there was plenty on those threads!).

Just a hunch.

Jim Hlavac

July 31st, 2013

I’ve been hearing of the dreaded backlash since the 1970s — still haven’t seen any of it … it’s been a one way street to Liberty for gays for decades.

Donny D.

August 2nd, 2013

They have been coming at us with their homophobia for millenia. They are the offenders, no us. Our responses their homophobia is the real backlash.

Their misuse of the word backlash inherently claims that they were doing nothing at all until we started “acting out” with our supposedly new open LGBTness and our demands for equal rights. That of course is a lie.

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