Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The Freedom to Marry
from The Advocate:
When two of the most prominent spokesmen for their sides of the marriage equality fight sat down on Monday for a 10-minute debate over what's happening in New Jersey, you knew it would be worth watching.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, set about dismantling the "torrent of talking points" that Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, unloaded during the televised discussion on Up Close With Diana Williams.
When Brown insisted gay rights activists in New Jersey were trying to "redefine marriage" with a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, Wolfson shot back that, "Marriage is not defined by who is denied it."
And when Brown claimed that "democracy doesn't count here" because Wolfson opposes a proposal by Gov. Chris Christie to put same-sex marriage up for a statewide debate and vote, it was answered with a civics lesson on American values:
"I disagree with Mr. Brown's explanation of how the United States is supposed to function," Wolfson said on New York's WABC-7. "Here in the United States, we actually believe there are basic rights, basic freedoms, that are protected for everybody under the Constitution. And it's exactly what we don't do is have a big debate about whether you should have freedom of religion, or whether I should have freedom of speech, or whether you should have the freedom to marry. We are all Americans, and we are all entitled to basic rights and protections. And we don't put that up to an up-or-down vote."