National Organization for Marriage

The mission of the National Organization for Marriage is to ban same-sex marriage on behalf of the Catholic Church. Fortunately, they seem to have failed. Again, National Organization for Marriage is a religious organization seeking to influence voters and legislatures to limit the civil rights of others based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church.

That does not define NOM as a civil rights organization anymore than the Klan.

Yet, in an email to supporters, Brian Brown, head of NOM has the audacity to compare their planned demonstration opposing marriage equality to the 1963 civil rights “March on Washington”. It’s not just audacious. It is downright offensive.

The only right that Mr. Brown is fighting for is the right to discriminate based upon sexual orientation.  It is also worth noting that the remaining icons of that era, like Julian Bond and Congressman James Clyburn and Congressman John Lewis fully support marriage equality. In addition to audacity and offensiveness, are NOM’s supporters that spectacularly stupid? Just how much respect does Mr. Brown have for their intelligence? Behold the arrogance. It is nothing short of astonishing:

In 1963, something happened that changed the civil rights movement.

For the first time, six major organizations working on civil rights issues came together to support what they called the “March on Washington” to demand the passage of pivotal civil rights legislation.

Many were opposed to it, including some prominent civil rights leaders, one of whom derisively labeled the effort the “farce on Washington.” President Kennedy advised against it, telling them the march could backfire, setting back the cause of civil rights. But undeterred, these brave leaders ignored the naysayers, banded together and encouraged their followers to come to Washington to peacefully demonstrate in support of civil rights for all Americans.

And come they did, from throughout the nation, an estimated 250,000 of them. There were a number of speakers that day, including several prominent leaders from the Catholic and Protestant faith communities.

It was on this historic day in 1963 that a young black preacher representing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference grabbed the assembled masses with his clear and soaring oratory, capturing not only the moment, but the essence of the cause:

“I have a dream,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. I have a dream…”

It was, indeed, on that remarkable day when one of the most impactful speeches in the history of our nation was delivered despite warnings, pleadings and admonitions not to speak, not to march.

My friends, it’s 1963 in the fight for marriage. And it is time we march.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.