By D’Anne Witkowski
They’re baaaaaaack. The National Organization for Marriage, that is. Though, they never really went anywhere. They were just stuck in place for awhile during the Obama administration. But now that the United States has elected a bigoted rage-baby to be our next prez, NOM President Brian Brown can’t wait to get the anti-gay engine restarted.
In fact, Brown has such a raging boner for hurting LGBTQ people that he’s taking his fight global.
Now, I know what you’re going to say: “But Trump vowed to protect LGBTQ people from hateful foreign ideologies! He said it himself at the Republican National Convention.” ‘Tis true! But he also said he’d jail Hillary Clinton and now he says, “We don’t care.” So I don’t know, maybe a lot of the things he says are, what’s the word for it? Oh yeah, craven bullshit lies.
So, yeah, I don’t expect to see Trump don a rainbow cape and come to the rescue of LGBTQ people any time soon.
Anyway, back to Brown who announced on International Human Rights Day (because of course) the formation of the International Organization for the Family (IOF). According to Brown, IOF is “a coalition of allies to take the worldwide lead in fighting for marriage, religious liberty, parental rights, the truth of gender and other issues central to the pro-family movement.” In other words, it’s a coming together of smaller hate groups across the globe to form one big hate group. Like Voltron, only instead of fighting evil space robots he fights lesbian moms and gay newlyweds and transgender people trying to pee in privacy instead.
“With the advent of IOF,” Brown wrote in a message on NOM’s blog, “NOM will be able to focus all our efforts here in America, where we have tremendous opportunities to reshape the culture and legal climate for marriage. We look forward to working with President-elect Trump, the Congress and our allies in Washington and the states to pursue a wide ranging agenda on behalf of our issues.”
Now, I don’t know if Trump will actually work with NOM to dismantle LGBTQ rights because I’m not sure Trump cares that much (Note: not giving a shit is not the same thing as being pro-LGBTQ no matter how many times he spits that acronym into a microphone). But it really doesn’t matter. Congress is full of NOM’s friends as are many state governments. We will no doubt see a sustained effort to erode LGBTQ gains. Most likely transgender and genderqueer people will be hurt the most as “the bathroom wars” continue to rage. Whether you’re the butchest gay man or the most lipstick of lesbians, this is your fight, too.
And make no mistake, people will die. If not here in the U.S. then certainly in countries where being LGBTQ is already criminalized and punishable by prison or death. By stoking the flames of hate across the globe IOF is just asking for blood on their hands.
You may recall the 2014 “kill the gays” bill introduced in Uganda, inspired in part by anti-gay American evangelicals who visited the country and lectured on the evils of homosexuality. The death penalty portion of the bill was changed to life in prison, by the way, which is hardly am improvement. This is but one example of what IOF will likely spur under Brown’s leadership.
LGBTQ people and our allies must remain vigilant. What Brown and his anti-gay ilk aren’t counting on is that their fight to take away our rights will be much harder than their fight against us ever gaining them in the first place. Be the resistance you want to see.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.