Brian Brown | Gay Marriage | NOM

NOM's Brian Brown Defends 'Traditional Marriage' With A Dining Room Set

Jeremy Hooper — the blogger behind Good.As.You. — loves it whenever the anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage uses strained analogies to demonstrate how “redefining marriage” will destroy the universe.

BrownIn his latest blog post, Hooper points out NOM President Bryan Brown’s tortured comparison of marriage to a dining room set, because marriage should only be between one table and a chair… or because a chair isn’t a table… or because gay marriage is like two tables marrying… or something:

Suppose you took a table and a chair and together referred to them both as chairs. In that instance, the two things really would be different—and by calling them the same thing, you would have made the term "chair" meaningless.

The point is this: the word "marriage" either means something or it does not. Isn't it only fair and just to ask first what it does mean before trying to decide to apply the term to something new?

Calling a table a chair does damage to the meaning of the word "chair"—and it does no service to our understanding of either tables or chairs. It is thus injurious to our wisdom and knowledge on three counts, and reduces our ability to reason at all.

So it goes with marriage. Calling something "marriage" that is not marriage damages our public notion of marriage, in multiple ways. It neither serves society as a whole, nor does it ultimately serve society's members because it reduces their ability to make any reasonable or legal distinctions. And so, when something else comes along purporting to be "marriage," no legal or moral rationale exists for drawing the line.

Hooper comments:

“Unlike nearly half of our states, twenty-nine consecutive courts (and many before that), the federal government, and a growing majority of the American public, Brian Brown has taken upon himself to determine that a civil contract between two loving and committed adults can only be called a marriage if the union has the distribution of penises and vaginas that he finds proper.”

Knowing that these are the best arguments our opponents have against nationwide marriage equality almost makes one look forward to the inevitable 2016 Supreme Court decision that’ll finally bury groups like NOM.

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  1. I suspect the analogy he's grasping at is, "Suppose you took a gay and a person and together referred to them both as people."

    Posted by: Gregory in Seattle | Aug 4, 2014 6:05:46 PM

  2. Somewhat off-topic, but am in Europe and have just been looking at some of the US right-wing blogs and thought I would check in to make sure everyone hasn't died yet from Benghaz-eee-bola carried by illegal children of DEATH!!!

    PS. That is a particularly unflattering piccy of Brian Brown.

    Posted by: Mundus | Aug 4, 2014 6:15:52 PM

  3. I suspect it was the kind of stuff he put in the brief to SCOTUS while intervening in the Oregon case.
    “The application for stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is denied,”
    That means the brief is worthless.

    Posted by: simon | Aug 4, 2014 6:21:33 PM

  4. I think this is what's known as a tortured analogy.

    Posted by: David | Aug 4, 2014 6:29:00 PM

  5. This sounds like an embarrassing attempt to apply his fragmentary memories of an intro to philosophy class he took decades ago and didn't get a good grade in. It's mainly poor Plato (ironically) who's taking the hit.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Aug 4, 2014 6:33:43 PM

  6. next thing you know, children will be sitting on tables and eating off of chairs!!!!

    or something!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 4, 2014 6:36:44 PM

  7. You could call Brian smart and a human… wait… one would believe that. Never mind.

    Posted by: Jaysonn | Aug 4, 2014 6:44:15 PM

  8. @Mundus. All the pics of BB are unflattering.

    Posted by: Bollox | Aug 4, 2014 6:48:14 PM

  9. what will this bigot doing when he no longer has his 500k job with nom?

    Posted by: al | Aug 4, 2014 6:49:16 PM

  10. Won't someone think of the chairs?

    Posted by: Neil | Aug 4, 2014 6:50:54 PM

  11. lol LK and Neil!

    Posted by: HERMES | Aug 4, 2014 6:57:31 PM

  12. Well, something has clearly reduced his ability to reason at all.

    Posted by: David | Aug 4, 2014 7:02:57 PM

  13. Exactly, Brian. I mean, what if table meant both "a piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs" AND "a set of facts or figures systematically displayed, esp. in columns?" What if chair referred to both "a separate seat for one person, typically with a back and four legs" AND John C. Eastman, the head of NOM's board of directors? Communication as we know it would end. Literally. By which I mean NOT literally.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 4, 2014 7:09:08 PM

  14. @ AL :

    Did you mean 500K a year for his incoherent rantings ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 4, 2014 7:13:51 PM

  15. Bryan Brown will really be in trouble if in 2017 he can't address the Chief Executive as "Mr. President."

    Posted by: Rich-SD | Aug 4, 2014 7:17:05 PM

  16. does he get upset if/when an opera is described as a marriage of music and text? :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 4, 2014 7:20:17 PM

  17. Gad!!! I laughed so hard I dislocated my hip and broke a window. Lord only knows where the cat went.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 4, 2014 7:20:45 PM

  18. And actually one can sit on tables and eat off chairs. In fact, my grandma even had some stackable TV tables that could also be used as stools

    Posted by: Retro | Aug 4, 2014 7:31:28 PM

  19. Never EVER put the forks on the same side of the plate as the knife and spoons, because gay marriage, or something. Okay, I need a drink now.

    Posted by: DH | Aug 4, 2014 7:43:39 PM

  20. Since dining tables normally come with 4-6 chairs; is this some kind of secret cryptic appeal on behalf of polygamists by Brian Brown?

    Posted by: Mundus | Aug 4, 2014 7:45:38 PM

  21. I really think Barbra says it best:

    A chair is still a chair...

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 4, 2014 8:04:45 PM

  22. I assume the man is the table and the wives are the chairs in his analogy? To keep it biblically correct, are the concubines the booster seats?

    Posted by: GeoffreyPS | Aug 4, 2014 8:04:46 PM

  23. I could have swore Chris Farley passed away years ago...

    Posted by: Brad | Aug 4, 2014 8:13:33 PM

  24. Hmm those arguments failed elsewhere. Why? Because arguments with that theme are WEAK!

    Citizens were once defined as 'white'. It didn't hurt the definition of citizen to add black people to it.

    A 'Judge' was once defined as a man. It didn't hurt the definition to allow women to become judges.

    A 'person' was once defined as a man as well. It didn't hurt the definition of person to add women.

    Same sex marriage doesn't change the intention. It only does if you're a nasty anti-gay bigot; if one doesn't get that this is an issue of dignity and human rights, one needs to take a hard look in the mirror and acknowledge the fact that one is a bigot. - Hello Brian Brown!

    Posted by: Grey | Aug 4, 2014 8:17:27 PM

  25. I assume that he got this analogy from sitting with Dan Savage and Terry Miller at their dining room table a couple of years ago in his failed attempt to debate his bigotry.

    Posted by: Bill Strong | Aug 4, 2014 9:13:36 PM

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