Traditional marriage is in the cross hairs of the progressive left again this week, as a sitting U.S. senator suggested Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo was unfit for office because he opposes gay marriage, and a New Yorker column expressed horror about the successful expansion of Chick-fil-A in New York City.
On Thursday, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., questioned Pompeo as part of the confirmation process and used part of his time to pepper Pompeo about his views on tradition marriage and whether be believes “gay sex is a perversion.” He refused to accept Pompeo’s contention that he did not believe in same-sex marriage but would all subordinates equally.
National Organization for Marriage Communications Director Joseph Grabowski says this is the latest sign of a troubling litmus test on the left.
“I think this is a demonstration of an ideological purity test that unfortunately is becoming common in the Democratic Party. We’ve already seen it on the life issue and a woman’s so-called right to have an abortion. Now we’re seeing it also with respect to beliefs about marriage that people can hold personally,” said Grabowski, noting that as recently as 2008, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton publicly backed same-sex marriage.
Booker couched his comments as being in the interest of State Department employees who might have same-sex spouses, but Grabowski says the implication was clear that “somehow this view that Mr. Pompeo holds as a matter of personal belief, as a matter of religious conviction, disqualifies him from public service.”
Grabowski says Booker could simply look into Pompeo’s record at the CIA, in Congress, or in the military if he really wanted to know if Pompeo has had any problems on these issues.
“It’s clear to be that Sen. Booker doesn’t have any such evidence and that’s why he’s pursuing this line of questioning,” said Grabowski, noting that the National Organization for Marriage has launched a website to call attention to Booker’s questioning and to gather petition signatures in condemnation of it.
Grabowski adds that this sort of badgering by Booker puts the lie to the LGBT’s longstanding public relations efforts.
“The adage of ‘live and let live’ which was claimed as the policy that was underlying the effort to allow for same-sex marriage. It’s clearly not the intent here,” said Grabowski.
He says this movement was never just about changing the law but about changing the culture and marginalizing anyone with a traditional view of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. According to Grabowski, the goal is “to make that the equivalent in the civic discourse of what racists in the Jim Crow South years ago believed.”
The left dominates the public square on the issue. Some polls now show a majority of Americans – or even a majority of Republicans – back same-sex marriage. Grabowski says traditional marriage supporters keep quiet our of fear for the jobs or being ostracized in their social circles.
He also pushes back on the idea that traditional marriage is no longer the majority position in the U.S. He says the societal pressure is so strong that people won’t even express their true beliefs to a pollster.
However, this is not only an issue in the halls of government. On Friday, New Yorker columnist Dan Piepenbring vented about the success of Chick-fil-A restaurants in New York City. Again, the faith-based foundation of the chain was at issue.
“[T]he brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism. Its headquarters, in Atlanta, is adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays. Its C.E.O., Dan Cathy, has been accused of bigotry for using the company’s charitable wing to fund anti-gay causes, including groups that oppose same-sex marriage,” wrote Piepenbring.
“The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words “to glorify God,” and that proselytism thrums below the surface of the Fulton Street restaurant, which has the ersatz homespun ambiance of a megachurch,” he added.
“Still, there’s something especially distasteful about Chick-fil-A, which has sought to portray itself as better than other fast food: cleaner, gentler, and more ethical, with its poultry slightly healthier than the mystery meat of burgers. Its politics, its décor, and its commercial-evangelical messaging are inflected with this suburban piety,” added Piepenbring.
Grabowski says such a column only confirms what most of America thinks of liberal bastions like New York City.
“This is the kind of elitism we see every election cycle, when people complain sometimes about the values of certain coastal elites who miss out on the real values of the average American.
“This is a perfect example of that. In a city like New York, where you can walk down any given street and see a several stories-high billboard portraying people barely clad in skimpy underwear and engaged in all kinds of weird poses. To be offended by something like a homely restaurant is just completely absurd to me,” said Grabowski.
But with the LGBT movement enjoying strong alliances with the media, Hollywood and the rest of popular culture and traditional marriage advocates fearful of reprisals, is there any reason to think this momentum will change?
Grabowski says yes.
“There is a grassroots groundswell of support for this issue. You don’t see it reported a lot. You don’t see it reported a lot, but that doesn’t mean you’re along. I would encourage people to take heart and to know there is strength in numbers and to know that we have the truth on our side. Ultimately, that will win out,” said Grabowski.