Anti-gay groups love to use buzzwords. They especially love using the ones that will get a visceral reaction like ‘jihad’ or ‘fatwa.’ They do this in order to try and make people think that they are being persecuted by those nasty gay ‘Islamists’. So, it isn’t surprising that Maggie Gallagher, the figurehead of the National Organization for Marriage, would use the word ‘fatwa’ in order to attack the LGBT Community and make it sound like they are the ones being oppressed rather than the other way around.
It is, by the way, a linguistic trick that, once you realize what it is, isn’t going to work very well because you know that they are trying to toy with your emotions.
Recently, she talked to the National Review Online where she suggested that she was blindsided by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling, but still defiant.
NRO asked Gallagher “Are last week’s rulings on marriage as monumental, with the staying power, of Roe v. Wade?” Buzzword #1: “Roe v. Wade”. This is intended to get people to dance on the strings of anger because Roe v. Wade is one of their ‘go to’ topics to manipulate the emotions of their readers. Essentially, the Right sees Roe v. Wade as evil, thus anything compared to it is evil.
Gallagher then responds “What you are really asking is: Will we concede the legitimacy of Kennedy’s fatwa against us, or will we respond with a sustained opposition — legal, political, cultural, and of the moral imagination?”
She went on to say “I don’t believe in inevitability, I believe in human freedom and our power to shape the future. So it depends on us. But certainly I believe, as I wrote in the Los Angeles Times, that the questions raised by marriage — deeply rooted in our conception of who we are as men and women, the meaning of sexuality and gender — cannot be put to rest by the power of five lawyers on however high a court.”
Now, ThinkProgress is nice enough to point out that “Though ‘fatwa’ literally means the word “opinion” in Arabic, its connotation is often a death sentence, such as the fatwa pronounced on author Salman Rushdiein in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.” What they do not point out is that the use of ‘fatwa’ is intended to imply heavily that the ‘evil gay cabals’ are going to execute anti-gay groups despite a lack of history of violence from the LGBT Community towards anti-gay activists. We wish we could say the same.
The use of the word is also intended to make her the ‘victim’ not the perpetrator of inequality.
It’s a carefully orchestrated linguistic dance. Later she claims that “Marriage is the word and the idea that incarnates a series of tremendously important ideas our contemporary post-sexual-revolution culture is inclined to deny — and now disparage as bigoted. Our bodies matter. They are part of who we are. Men and women are different, and the whole society needs — because our children need it, and because our future depends on it, on culturally creating it — a pathway from male to female (and vice versa) in which we do not hurt each other or our children with our sexual desires. To become the kind of people who care for our children, not kill them, or hurt them, require a tremendous commitment that adolescents make only in a society where adult society is committed to these norms.”
The problem is that they never back this up. You see, they attack the idea even implying that only sexual passion between men and women is non-harmful, but Gallagher never backs this up- why? Well, that’s because it is easier to manipulate language than it is to manipulate data. A recent attempt by NOM to manipulate data got them into hot water even though they continue to try and push the idea that the Regnerus study was valid.
Gallagher also sprinkled in some reality. Yes, male and female bodies are different, but she ignores the fact that the male and female genders are largely based on constructs. Transsexuals, for instance, come in all varieties of male and female because the problem is not so much that their gender does not match their sex- but rather their brain’s sex does not match their body’s sex.
Try removing all the traits from male and female and what one is left with is pretty much nothing. Define gender without sex, and what you have is the construct. That is something that Gallagher attacks in what she says even though she tries to hide it because people today are more savvy about the whole thing than they were even ten years ago.