Brian Brown: Anti-Gay March Was What the Civil Rights Movement 'Must Have Felt Like'

Yesterday in an interview with Religious Right broadcaster Janet Mefferd, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown said that his group’s march against gay rights near the Supreme Court reminded him of the Civil Rights Movement. “I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement but this is what it must have felt like,” Brown said.

This isn’t the first time Brown has compared anti-gay activists to the Civil Rights Movement, however, that hasn’t stopped him from criticizing President Obama for linking the movement for gay rights to the struggle for racial equality.

We were hoping for 5,000 people and we ended up with over 10,000. We filled the whole area in front of the court when we marched. It was a diverse coalition, we had African American leaders, Hispanic leaders, State Sen. Ruben Diaz brought 30 buses from the Bronx; it was just amazing. What I was most happy about, we talked about this before the rally, the way everyone conducted themselves. We were chanting, we were united but when folks tried to get in our way, there were some gay marriage protesters who tried to get in front of the march and stop us even though we had a permit, everyone just knelt down and started praying. I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement but this is what it must have felt like, people were just so ecstatic to stand up and they did it in a loving, respectful way but they weren’t going to be silenced. I couldn’t be more happy with what happened today, I think it’s a huge step forward for the pro-marriage movement and I don’t think it’s going to be lost on the Supreme Court justices that we were there and we were there in force.

Earlier in the same program, Gary Bauer of American Values told Mefferd that young people tend to back marriage equality because “many of them have breathed the air of the poisoned culture,” and warned that any decision striking down anti-gay marriage laws “would be a serious disaster for our country.”

Bauer: Among young people many of them have breathed the air of the poisoned culture and they might have a different view on it but I do not believe the average college student, burdened with maybe $100,000 of student debt, looking at dim job prospects, is thinking first and foremost when they get up in the morning: wow, I sure do hope men can marry men.

Mefferd: Right, right. I don’t think that’s probably a front burner issue for any of them either. This is interesting though, what we are hearing now from the news reports, the SCOTUS Blog had a number of people who were writing articles today about this, indicating that Justice Anthony Kennedy thinks, it may be the case, that the case should be dismissed with no ruling at all. Now I don’t know how many people expected that coming out of the court today but what is your take on this idea that they could just keep it to California, they may just decide to dismiss the case altogether?

Bauer: I’m hearing the same thing; it would be something of a surprise. I wouldn’t be dancing a jig if that’s the ruling but it sure is better than the ruling that I fear which is that this propaganda campaign will panic Kennedy and maybe even somebody like Chief Justice Roberts to rule that this is a constitutional right hidden in that same provision that has the right to abort babies and that every state’s vote has been struck down. That would be obviously a disaster not only for folks like us but I believe it would be a serious disaster for our country.