Score one for Princeton students
I work down the street from the offices of the National Organization for Marriage, the ironically named organization which gave us that offensive-yet-hilarious “Gathering Storm” ad and, indirectly, its countless parodies on YouTube. I can’t say the proximity doesn’t bother me, and I’ve actually kept an eye out for where their office is so I might give their sign an evil stare, but I’ve never found it. But last week, students from Princeton University picketed the place, which apparently is right across the street from the campus.
From the Princeton Packet:
Waving umbrellas and posters, around 30 Princeton students danced and cheered in front of the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Nassau Street offices Wednesday to voice disapproval of the group’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
NOM, which was founded in 2007 by Princeton politics professor Robert George and Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, is a nonprofit organization that serves as a resource for organized opposition to same-sex marriage around the country, according to its Web site. The group is based in Princeton, across the street from the university.
“The fact that NOM exists so close to campus and that it was founded by a Princeton professor, yet that there hasn’t been much discussion about the issue, gives the impression that Princeton is ambivalent,” said Emily Sung, a sophomore who helped organize the protest. “That’s what we’re combating. We want to end the silence.” …
Students also donned cardboard masks of Professor George and carried posters with satirical messages from “I love my local hate group!” to “Gay people want to turn us all gay.” The posters and cries of “Honk for equality, honk for equal rights!” drew various responses from members of the community.
Had I known about the protest in advance, I probably would have run down the street to join them.
Given how conservative the school generally is, it’s refreshing to see the student body taking a stand against a group like this, whose sole purpose is to deny other people equal rights. Of course, they say they merely want to uphold “traditional” marriage, but mentions of their support for making a woman property or arranging marriages between children for political gain are conspicuously absent from their web site. NOM was one of the major contributors to the “Yes on Prop 8” campaign in California, and was also the group to flare up that “controversy” with Carrie Prejean of the Miss USA pageant, an issue that bears no further mention.
To get a better idea of why I find NOM so offensive, check out their latest ad. It’s airing in New Hampshire, where state legislators are fighting over the language of a gay marriage bill:
Aside from the fact they’re using kids who are too young to realize what they’re doing (or how mortified they’ll be of this when they’re adults), the faulty logic just slaps you in the face. “Young children don’t understand it, so it must be wrong!”
For the record, there are plenty of kids who understand gay marriage just fine. When I was five or so, I asked my dad why two men or two women couldn’t get married. Surprised, he answered with a cleverly evasive, “They can in some countries.”
Let’s follow the ad’s idea to its logical conclusion. Here are a few other things that should also be illegal, since no kid could understand them:
- Affordable housing — Because who likes poor people anyway?
- Family assistance programs — See above
- Unemployment benefits — They’re for lazy people
- Land use and zoning laws — What’s wrong with putting the playground alongside the highway with the strip joints?
Keep in mind that I’m not insulting children’s intelligence—a lot of these things are hard for grown-ups too. I’ve written about the first and last issues, and they’re almost ridiculously complex. But I’m curious, dear readers:
What else should we outlaw because it’s too complicated for kids to understand?
Comment with your ideas!