OK

Never mind the polls. Never mind the flood-tide of changing opinion. The Washington bureau of the New York Times has found some young people who support what they call traditional marriage, and they have to be given equal time. Indeed. A week before the November elections we heard from the therapists who said you could change, and now, a week before the Supreme Court hears the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, we have this crap article. Ashley Parker this time. You surely remember her coverage of the Romney campaign. Well, she found some young people who don't agree with their own demographic. Maybe that's where she found them.

 Below the great orange headband for more:

The spokespeople for this article represent a variety of organizations, some that we know about and some that we might have to watch. In order of mention, they are:

Joseph Backholm, 34, the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (that's Washington State),
Ryan T. Anderson, 31 and Andrew T. Walker, 27, of the Heritage Foundation,
Eric Teetsel, 29, the executive director of the Manhattan Declaration,
Caitlin Seery, 25, the director of programs for the Love and Fidelity Network,
Ashley Pratte, 23, the executive director of Cornerstone Policy Research and Cornerstone Action, a New Hampshire group
Yes, all these organizations are linked in the article. You'd think the Times was promoting them.

The article refers to NOM's March on Washington, which I wrote about here. The comment thread in that diary made it clear that, with few exceptions, the speakers at the march will be some of the fringiest of the fringe players on this issue, as if NOM couldn't get more mainstream speakers. Except for the boys from the Heritage foundation, these groups feel like they're pretty fringy too.

Let's see what some of them have to say. Mr. Backholm admits that he finds himself in a challenging situation:

The primary challenge that our side faces right now is the intense social pressure. To the extent that the other side is able to frame this as a vote for gay people to be happy, it will be challenging for us.
So you have to try to frame opposition marriage equality as something we wont be happy about. Good luck with that. Maybe you can get some of our gay concern trolls to help you.

Mr. Teetsel?

Proponents of same-sex marriage have done a fantastic job of telling the story of same-sex marriage through music and television and film. I think it’s really a case where once they hear the other side of the issue, and really think about it deeply, we’re going to win a lot of those folks back.
Sure! You're going to find a way to fight Modern Family. People have been hearing "the other side of the issue" for a long time, young man, and increasingly they're saying "Too bad for you." Remember how the forces you represent used to say that voters had never voted for marriage equality? Remember how you can't say that anymore? Game, set and match.

Ms. Seery?

When you de-link marriage from childbearing, you then have to increase the complexity of that relationship.
This is what's knoen as addressing a problem that doesn't exist. Marriage is ALREADY de-linked from childbearing. Were you not listening when Judge Walker explained how he married a couple past childbearing age during the Prop 8 trial? Or, were you perhaps not interested in it until it went in what you saw as the wrong direction.

Ms. Pratte?

These Republicans who are jumping ship are doing so because we have no way of messaging. Do you want to tell your friends when you’re out with them on a Friday night that they can’t get married? No, you don’t want to have that discussion, but you want to have a healthy discussion.
Right you are.  You have no way of messaging.  Tell that to the RNC, please. And since you can't have that discussion what will your "healthy discussion" be about?

There's more nonsense. Here is our intrepid reporter, Ms. Walker:

Opponents of same-sex marriage say they realize they may lose the current fight, but they optimistically take the long view, pointing to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. At the time, they say, opponents of abortion were told their cause was lost, but the fight continues 40 years later.
Yes, states can do whatever they want but it will all be subject to challenges in court and if you're betting that the Court isn't going to become more liberal then you may have a case but that's far too many contingencies to hang your hat on.

I'll leave you with something from the comment thread at the Times. If it were here, I"d recommend it as a Top Comment.

It's strange - from their titles and posts I had expected them to be at least mildly competent in piecing together a rational argument. Yet as the article correctly notes, they have offered little in the way of empirical evidence or philosophic reasoning other than appeals to emotion or nostalgia over "traditional marriage". I don't know how they seek to reconcile their quaint worldview with the evidence offered by the economics, psychology, and moral justice behind marriage equality, but I can't imagine they'll succeed in the slightest.
And yet. This is the New York Times. Maybe they should change their slogan to "All the news that's fit to print -- and then some."

UPDATE, 3/21, 8:22 AM PDT: Some of you are questioning why I'm making fun of the Times. I am not questioning their right to publish articles like this, I'm questioning the timing just as I did in this diary that I published the weekend before the election. I have questions about the reporter as well.

As for "balanced reporting," I consider these people to have the credibility of the birther movement, and I don't think you'd object if I called out the Times for a long article that took Orly Taitz and Donald Trump seriously.

Originally posted to Kossacks for Marriage Equality on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Angry Gays.

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