The National Organization for Marriage has increasingly focused its anti-equality advocacy on a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, a notion that has only lost traction over the course of its multiple failures to pass in Congress. On Thursday, the group posted a blog post designed to direct readers to sign a petition urging members of Congress to support the amendment by scaring them with threats of an impending 1984-style dystopia if the amendment doesn’t pass. The post seemed to have been deleted from the site, but has since been restored.
Reflecting on the Duck Dynasty scandal and the gay community’s negative reaction to Phil Robertson’s homophobic remarks, NOM imagines the following threats:
- …Imagine that the situation didn’t involve a high-powered lobby and busy-body “thought police.” Imagine instead that Phil had been up against the full force of the government and the actual police.
- …Imagine that it hadn’t been a network with the mere ability to hire and fire. Imagine instead that the man-in-charge was a federal judge, able to saddle Phil with criminal “hate-speech” charges, civil rights violations, and onerous fines.
- …Imagine that it wasn’t just a Hollywood clique and cabal disapproving of a certain celebrity’s Christian values. Imagine instead a new State regime wherein those values were the legal and cultural equivalent of racism, and any citizen expressing those values was subject to punishment.
This fear-mongering has no basis in reality, because there was never any threat to Phil Robertson’s free speech. The government does not actually punish racism, but it does protect against discrimination, and hate crime charges require a crime to actually be committed, so they have no impact on speech. NOM’s headline is perhaps the most bizarre of its Orwellian imagining: “Imagine the government suing Phil Robertson.” Just about anything can be imagined, but that doesn’t mean the imagined ideas are in any way sensible.