The National Organization for Marriage published a full-page newspaper ad this week attacking same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. Like decades of anti-gay propaganda before it, the ad relies on two familiar tropes. First, marriage equality will somehow curb “religious freedom” because people will not have free reign to discriminate against same-sex couples. Secondly, children will learn that gay people exist.
Neither of these arguments is particular convincing, but NOM believes they are calling out “The Big Lie” of marriage equality, because “people of faith will pay the price.” The new coalition to support marriage equality in Rhode Island has published a thorough fact-check of the ad. Here’s a sample:
- Claim: Small businesses that oppose marriage equality will face lawsuits.
- Fact: A Seattle Times investigation “failed to turn up any evidence that same-sex marriage had produced a rash of suits involving businesspeople.” The Times “also checked with human rights commissions in four of the six states where marriage is legal; the commissions said there was not an increase in discrimination findings or suits involving same sex marriage.”
Indeed, NOM’s scare tactics increasingly fall on deaf ears. Though as Jeremy Hooper suggests, the ad does provide some nice publicity for the children’s book King & King.