Last night, while surfing through Jeremy Hooper’s Good As You blog, I came across a video of a young woman, which she titled Why Did It Become Hateful to Support Marriage, shown below. Please watch this video before continuing to read.
The young woman is named Anna Maria Hoffman. She is a conservative writer and vlogger who was an intern at the Family Research Council. According to her profile on Counter Cultured, she is “very passionate about social issues.” While I find no fault in being passionate about things you believe in, a lot of what she believes, at least on the issue of marriage equality, is based upon shoddy logic, a failure to look at the issue critically from both sides, and on half-truths and outright lies which have been pedaled to her by groups like FRC.
So, now lets get into the video. She starts by noting how supporting gay marriage is “cool” these days and how not supporting it is considered uncool. She posits this issue as comparable to some sort of high school popularity contest. She makes it seem as though people who support marriage equality do so in order to be popular, which is completely inaccurate. She doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that people have well-formed arguments in support of marriage equality and support it because they believe it is, objectively, the right thing to do. She also doesn’t seem to be aware of the numerous ways LGBT people have been discriminated against throughout the history of the United States. Her trivialization of this issue, referring to it as a popularity contest, is highly offensive, and shows a flagrant disregard for the real issue at hand.
Next, she goes into how who don’t support marriage equality are called “homophobic, hateful, heteronormative” and “bigot”. This type of commentary has been used countless amounts of times before by groups like FRC and NOM. They say and do things which are bigoted and offensive and then have the audacity to complain about being called names. They try to play the victim when they are the ones trying to deny same-sex couples access to rights opposite-sex couples have. They know this ploy distracts from the real issue at hand and attempts to make them look innocent when they really aren’t. This “we’ll be called names” strategy says a lot about people who do not support marriage equality. By using this strategy in her video, Hoffman shows to her audience that she is more concerned about being labeled homophobic and hateful than about whether or not her words and actions are homophobic and hateful. This type of thought process is incredibly narcissistic and shows a complete lack of concern for LGBT people as well as people who do not share her views.
(On somewhat of a side note, the way she uses the term “heteronormative” in this video makes it clear she has no idea about what heteronormative means. Although she admits she just “learned” about the term, she quickly dismisses it as “weird.” Displaying willful ignorance is not exactly the best way to put yourself in a good light.)
So, now, in a completely predictable fashion, Hoffman complains about how it doesn’t make sense that people call her name just because she is “supporting marriage”. This goes back to the “play the victim” card I have explained before. Additionally, using the phrase “supporting marriage” is highly disingenuous for many reasons. (Please refer to this post for a more detailed explanation of why it is disingenuous). To put it simply (for this post), denying same-sex couples access to a marriage license is not the same as supporting marriage, and it is inaccurate to think otherwise.
Hoffman then goes into a list of the problems that marriage has, in general, in the United States today. Although most of these issues are legitimate issues that could use some work, none of them have anything to do with same-sex couples gaining access to a marriage license. Same-sex couples having access to a marriage license does not cause people to get divorced, nor does it contribute to the rise of absent fathers, or single mothers. Hoffman conflates these issues, as many others before her have, blaming the mere existence of gay people and same-sex couples for the problems opposite-sex couples have. This constitutes bad logic and the connections she makes have no basis in reality.
Finally, Hoffman finishes by restating how she is trying to “support marriage”, how every child wants and needs a mom and dad who are married to each other, and how people need to “stop the hate.” As with the rest of the video, she is rehashing old talking points which have been used by numerous groups opposed to marriage equality. The only one point I haven’t really touched on is the idea of children needing a mother and father who are married. Since this issue needs a large amount of explanation, I will be speaking about how that argument is fatuous and not reality-based in a later post. Finally, her call to “stop the hate” is just one final display of the general narcissism that many who don’t support marriage equality possess.
Overall, Hoffman’s video is nothing new. Still, I felt the need to post about it. This video shows us a lot about the anti-marriage equality base in general and the thought processes which contribute to it. Most importantly, it shows how people at the top of anti-gay groups, such as FRC and NOM, package issues, and what their supporters are made to think. Those people know they have to hide their actual animus towards LGBT people in these pre-packaged talking points which are very carefully worded to sound relatively harmless and nice. The people on top systematically lie to people like Hoffman, getting them to believe their lies and to not think about these issues with a critical lens that includes both sides of an argument. Perhaps, Hoffman is, in fact, a victim; however, it is not at the hands of gay people, but rather, the people she has been answering to. If it wasn’t for them, she would not be posting videos like this one, which are full of inaccuracies, allowing a host of internet-users to view her as ignorant, uninformed, and stupid.
Since Hoffman is still young, I do have some hopes for her. I hope one day, she can rise above the narcissistic thought processes she was taught by groups like NOM and FRC. I hope one day she will realize the work she has done has not been in the business of protecting families, but solely in the business of denying same-sex couples access to rights opposite-sex couples have. I hope one day, she will see how homophobic, hateful, and bigoted her words and actions really are. I hope she can have that moment of reflection where she eschews her bigotry and comes to a realization of how wrong she was and how nothing she had previously said was substantiated by facts or reality. I hope she breaks off the blinders that were placed on her.
That’s all for now. Until next time, folks, “If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”