The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) seems to have completed its disintegration from an organization that presented polished “pro-marriage” talking points to one that applauds homophobia and openly attacks homosexuality like the rest of its fellow opponents of marriage equality. Phil Robertson, patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, said in a new GQ interview published Wednesday that homosexuality is a sin comparable to bestiality, adultery, and prostitution, musing, “It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” and NOM’s Brian Brown couldn’t agree more:
Well guess what — homosexuality IS a sin in the bible, and virtually every other sacred text out there. Engaging in homosexual sex IS considered by God to be sinful according to the teachings of most religions. And sin is NOT logical. Sin is deceitful, harmful and degrading to the human soul.
After harsh blowback for the comments, Robertson issued a non-apology, and by the end of Wednesday, A&E had announced he was “under hiatus from filming indefinitely.” Under the guise of a “petition” that doesn’t display signatures — so it will really only be used to collect information for future fundraising requests — NOM encouraged supporters to “stand with Phil Robertson,” using his comments to decry LGBT groups who spoke out, like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and GLAAD:
But Christianity, and every other major religion, be damned in the eyes of the HRC, GLAAD and their allies. They will brook no objection, tolerate no dissent and accept no disagreement when it comes to their orthodoxy. In their twisted worldview, anyone who dares to speak the truth about homosexuality must be punished and effectively banished from civil society.
But HRC didn’t send its letter to A&E alone; it was a joint letter with the NAACP. That’s because Robertson also made racially insensitive remarks, suggesting that African Americans were more content under Jim Crow laws: “They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.” NOM makes no mentions of these remarks nor does it comment at all upon the NAACP’s joint reaction with HRC. This could be because acknowledging LGBT people and people of color standing in solidarity against oppressive speech would be contrary to their plans to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
NOM is not alone in standing with Robertson. Conservatives across Twitter — tweeting with the hashtag #FreePhilRobertson — have joined together in rushing to his defense. A Facebook group called “Stand With Phil Robertson” already has well over 300,000 “Likes.” Fox News’ Todd Starnes was quick to attack detractors as “anti-straight groups.” Sarah Palin eagerly reminded her fans that she’s met the Duck Dynasty family, suggesting that “free speech is an endangered species.” The Westboro Baptist Church urged Robertson not to apologize because they were proud he “finally applied the Bible standard.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer proclaimed, “What Phil said was not hate speech. It was the truth. The truth is only hate speech to those who hate the truth.”
It seems that Robertson’s comments represent a new Chick-fil-A moment, a catalyst for conservatives to own their anti-gay beliefs and take umbrage when anybody criticizes them. However, as NOM’s losing record exemplifies, outright condemnations of “homosexual behavior” and the sweeping proclamation that people who are gay are defying God and bound for Hell — let alone that African Americans were better off without equality under the law — are not palatable talking points writ large.