This summer the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is stepping up its fevered anti-gay pitch. They have been caravaning from city to city to whip up folks and try to get them back on the anti -gay marriage bus. Literally They have had a summer bus tour stopping at churches and having rallies from the Northeastern U.S. to the South to the Mid West. And of course this past week’s ruling striking down Prop. 8 at the Federal level has given Maggie Gallagher and company new fodder for their position.
I watched Gallagher one night on CNN opposite the wonderful and brilliant Evan Wolfson who has been one of the chief legal strategists for marriage equality since the 1990’s. Evan founded the Marriage Project when he was a Lambda Legal. Then he founded “Freedom to Marry”. He was calm and articulate and smart. Gallagher was frenetic, disheveled, and rude. She talked over everyone which is her style. She thinks she is getting her point across but she continues to look desperate on camera.
On August 12 in Los Angeles a project of NOM is holding a big fundraiser. This project called the RUTH Institute is dedicated to teaching young people that heterosexual marriage is the only proper expression of love. Their motto is One Man, One Woman for Life. This project of NOM under the guise of promoting marriage and family is hardly neutral. They are yet another tool in Gallagher’s arsenal of anti-gay, anti-choice platform.
The irony is that they named their organization Ruth. The biblical character of Ruth is one whose husband dies. She lives with her mother in law Naomi in a women only home at a time that was unheard of. She pledges her devotion to Naomi saying, “Wherever you lodge, I will lodge, wherever you go, I will go, your God shall be my God. ” (Ruth 1:6). Later she marries Boaz who is her redeeming kinsman. This means that Ruth’s husband died without heirs. Biblically speaking, a near relative had to marry that wife and the first child of any union would be the inheritor of the first husband’s property.
Ruth comes to Boaz in the middle of the night and sleeps with him before he marries her!
Perhaps NOM should go back and read their Bible. More importantly, we have to expose the manipulation of the Bible by folks at NOM and the Ruth Institute. Marriage in the Bible was hardly One Man, One Woman for Life.
Most of the main characters had multiple wives and children with all of them.
Abraham, Jacob, King David, King Solomon and many others.
Divorce is allowed.
So perhaps they ought to stop their Bible thumping. And we have to counter them at every move. Because their real agenda is not promoting marriage stability to straight folks. Their real agenda is to create an environment that is hostile to gay folks.
Marriage as an institution does need help. Most marriages in this country end in divorce because the couple should probably not have been married in the first place. But help people learn to communicate and build relationship. Not target gay people.