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NOM exposed again: Equality Matters goes undercover at anti-gay student conference

Equality Matters has an exclusive report featuring audio and photos that expose the depth of fact-challenged homophobia churned out to students attending the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute-hosted “It Takes A Family To Raise A Village” (ITAF) conference in San Diego. Reporter Carlos Maza went undercover posing as a college student to participate in a weekend event that he calls “one of the most disturbing and overtly homophobic experiences of my life.”

Honestly, part of me was terrified at the idea of having to spend a whole weekend stuck at a NOM event with a group of anti-gay student activists. What if I was discovered? What if someone from NOM recognized me? If I attended, I ran the risk of being exposed – all alone – as an undercover “homosexualist” in a room full of the very people I’d been writing about for months.

I also wasn’t keen on the idea of having to pretend to be straight in front of dozens of strangers for four days, as I didn’t expect I’d be able to attend a NOM conference as an openly gay man without raising a few eyebrows. I’d been out of the closet for over eight years, and I lived in a city where being gay is as about as common and unremarkable as wearing glasses. I’d grown pretty accustomed to not having to worry about people figuring out my sexual orientation. Having to go back in “the closet,” even just for a few days, sounded more like an unpleasant high school flashback than an exciting work opportunity.

Eventually, though, my curiosity got the better of me.

Four days listening to disinformation and flat-out lies had to be arduous. Take a look at some of the ground covered in the 4 days Carlos endured:

  • Day One: Opening ceremony, Dr. Morse’s keynote speech, and meeting my conference roommate.
  • Day Two: “Unstable” same-sex relationships, gay stereotypes, and Jesus’ condemnation of homosexuality.
  • Day Three: Parenting misinformation, the pedophilia connection, and Leviticus.
  • Day Four: Morning services, a “conversation on marriage,” and a confession.

Other key issues raised during the conference are what you’d expect — the flagrant use of discredited studies presented as factual information designed to demonize and dehumanize LGBTs. During this conference the infamous bogus gay parenting study by UT Austin associate professor Mark Regnerus was repeatedly referenced. Dr. Jenet Erickson, assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life did so in her seminar “Marriage: The Indispensable Social Institution. Maza said it:

focused on the relationship between marriage and parenting by attempting to make the case that married, heterosexual couples offer the best environment for raising children. She called same-sex relationships “inherently unstable,” suggesting that gay partners eventually get bored of each other as a result of having the same gender.

At the end of her speech, Erickson was asked how she would counter stories of well-adjusted children raised by same-sex parents. She responded by asserting that the majority of same-sex couples are “dysfunctional” and “erratic.”

ERICKSON: We’re just getting more exposure to the realities of it, which is not two women committing to have a child and nurturing that child all the way along. These are relationships that are dysfunctional and erratic and not stable, and that’s the far more common experience. And so we need to realize when we’re breaking apart marriage, when we’re redefining it, what is that doing for a huge group of people? [emphasis added]

Please surf over and read the entire expose at Equality Matters. It will be interesting to see how NOM responds to it.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding