Brian S. Brown

The Southern Poverty Law Center has not designated National Organization for Marriage as a hate group. Yet, Brian S. Brown, NOM’s leader, shared some thoughts with Kevin Fagan at the San Francisco Chronicle. Brown’s utterances suggest that NOM now meets the hate group criteria.

Fagan wrote a beautiful piece about Army Captain Sage Fox who recently transitioned from male to female. Maj. Charles McGrue, Fox’s commander, has the right approach: “No problem. Male, female, transgender, whatever — if you are capable of doing the job you’ve been assigned, that’s what matters. And Sage is great at her job.” So where is the problem?

Mr. Fagan provides further context:

Fox, a 44-year-old Army Reserve officer in her 14th year of service, realized she was a woman in a man’s body while on deployment in Kuwait five years ago, and after taking a brief break to make adjustments including hormone treatment, she reported back to duty. Her commander told her it was fine to serve as a female officer, and her troops accepted her well, she said. It all seemed to fall in line with military tradition that what matters most is obedience and competence.

While all that makes perfect sense;

enter Brian S. Brown who makes no sense at all:

“The science doesn’t back up the notion that if you’re a man, you can suddenly decide to be a woman,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. “Everybody knows this policy of allowing transgenders in is not about military readiness, and we’re not going to stand for it.”

Next, he said, the permission for gays and lesbians to serve “needs to be readdressed.”

Exactly what science is Brown referring to? The uninformed ramblings of some prelate of the Catholic Church? Can Brown even appreciate the difference between peer-reviewed research published to prestigious scholarly journals and theology or junk science? Brown’s hero is Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the 86-year- old psychiatrist and fierce Defender of the Faith™. McHugh has never published research on gender identity or sexual orientation to a peer-reviewed journal.

Brian S. Brown has not read the letter written by 600 real scientists concerning McHugh who is clearly a religious crackpot. Brown has not read it because he already knows that he doesn’t like what it says. He doesn’t like what it says because of the teachings of the Church which are at odds with the overwhelming consensus of science regarding gender identity and sexual orientation.

I also wonder who “everybody” is. Major McGrue does not seem to be part of “everybody.” Nor are the generals who previously approved transgender service part of “everybody.” And who is the “we” in “we’re not going to stand for it?” When did Brown become a military officer? What makes him think that he or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gets a say in defense department policy?

Brown must have had a fever dream over the weekend. The notion that we should turn back the clock on the service of gay men and women is patently absurd. Again, Brown babbles this banality because the Catholic Church claims that gay people are “objectively disordered.” That is not the science and that doesn’t represent the military’s experience with the service of gay men and women. Sexual orientation is irrelevant to their skills and proficiency.

Is NOM a hate group?

SPLC might want to reconsider whether National Organization for Marriage is a hate group.  NOM is headed by a man who is also the head of a designated hate group (World Congress of Families). That same man makes untrue claims about the science of gender identity while smearing gay people as unfit for military service. Does that not define a hate group leader?

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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.