The controversies involving marriage clerks in the South refusing to help gay couples fulfill their legal right to marry has me thinking. And I've come to a sad conclusion.
We are all being played for fools. The clerks who are pitifully stalling or outright refusing to marry couples (gay or heterosexual) under the guise of "religious freedom," and the lgbt community are all being manipulated and exploited.
I am sure that this situation and others like it (luckily there are not that many) will end up in our favor. However, the lgbt community needs to recognize that it is not these clerks who are the problem.
We should be aiming a lot of our fire at the anti-gay organizations and personalities who are instigating this mess. Individuals like Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer and organizations such as the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, or the American Family Association want a resistance against marriage equality. They want protests, government employees refusing to do their job, and general chaos. But they aren't going to get their hands dirty. You won't see Tony Perkins or NOM president Brian Brown leading a march of non-complying government officials. You won't see Bryan Fischer standing in front of window of courts clerks in an attempt to bar gay couples.
They reside in the ears of those who think that homosexuality is a sin. Via mass and social media, they create and repeat inane horror stories of persecution and false claims that gays want to destroy Christianity. They imply or outright say that hordes of "homosexuals" will be invading evangelical churches, dragging pastors from the pulpits and tossing them into in prison for refusing to marry gay couples, and probably snatching children on their way out, like some goblin whose name parents speak when they want to keep their offspring in check.
As if they are puppeteers, anti-gay organizations and personalities are pulling the strings, buoying the arrogance and recklessness of clerks and various other government officials and thereby manipulating them to refuse to carry out their duties, while expecting to be paid by the tax dollars of the people whose rights they are infringing upon. And when our community react against these individuals, well that's a part of the plan, too. Anti-gay groups are attempting to manipulate us all into an unnecessary holy war in which they hope to reap the benefits of pointing and saying "see, we told you so."
It proves the point that the more things change, the more they remain the same. When lgbts had no or very little political power, anti-gay groups exploited fears and religious beliefs to keep the boot of oppression on our necks. Even though the lgbt community has amassed much political power over the years, the anti-gay propaganda playbook doesn't change.
And why should it when there are so many folks who can be manipulated by it while the lgbt community as well as lgbt leaders busy themselves with fighting the pawns of that playbook rather than the masters.