I don't feel it is necessary to again highlight how repulsive yesterday's act of violence at the FRC was so I will avoid doing so. But to hear conservative groups talk, that's all we should be doing because they have a rare moment of legitimate victimhood, and by god, they're going to milk it dry. Take my brief conversation with Andy Parrish, head of the anti-equality campaign Minnesota for Marriage, which is aimed at passing a constitutional ban on marriage equality in Minnesota. (If his name sounds familiar, it's because he was the boy who cried 'hacked!' when some posts surfaced on MN for Marriage's facebook page endorsing the Leviticus passage that gays should be put to death.)
Andy Parrish (Minnesota for Marriage) - I am saddened that my office has been advised to keep in lockdown in the
wake of yesterday's shooting by Gay Activist Floyd Corkins.
Me - You don't think it's dangerous and incendiary to paint Floyd Corkins as representative of the LGBT community?
You may be quick to point out that I was a little callous in ignoring his emotional response. To which my response would be what NOM was too chicken to allow me to post on its blog yesterday (lest an evil LGBT individual come off as sane). "There is no need for me to preface every statement about the FRC with condemnations of violence. I think that sentiment is something we can assume to be indicative of most people on both sides. Certainly I would afford those aligned with groups such as the FRC that same assumption, that the majority of them also condemn violence." As I've said numerous times, there is no need for so much reaffirmation. Of course what happened yesterday was horrible. I've said that, let's move on. I don't want to wallow in the issues, I want to work towards solutions.
Parrish - I have done no such thing. He is a wacko that is not representative of mainstream LGBTQ community.
Me - You don't think "Gay Activist Floyd Corkins" would be widely misinterpreted by your base?
Here is where it becomes a little more obvious that Parrish is full of shit. He didn't rise to his position by being a dumbass, he knows how many will interpret his words, that in every LGBT advocate is a crazy person like Floyd Corkins simmering just beneath the surface. This helps anti-LGBT individuals justify their fear, which in turn helps causes like Parrish's. And I think he realized this when he was called on it, which is why he retroactively qualified his statement. Quickly, he tries to divert my attention my engaging in a childish pissing match. I was curious to see where he was going with it, so I took the bait.
Parrish - You should spend your time condemning him not nit picking my words.
Me - You shouldn't assume I haven't.
Me - While abhorrent, the incident at the FRC yesterday doesn't excuse that group for its transgressions. You should know that.
Since we devolved into the realm of telling one another what we should do, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.
Parrish - you just excused what he did. Terrible.
Me - LOL, nice try. It is not contradictory to condemn violence against the FRC, while still also condemning their past actions.
Gee, for someone who supposedly wasn't trying to generalize by using crazy paint on LGBT advocates in broad strokes, he certainly went there with me pretty quick. He's not dumb, and my words did not suffer from a Twitter-esque lack of specificity. He knew exactly what I was saying, but he chose to interpret it as something else. Unsurprisingly, this was his last response to me.
What can you do about someone like Parrish? You can give a hand, either financially, or physically to your LGBT brethren (or allies if you're straight). If you live in Minnesota, you can vote against the oppressive anti-equality Amendment up in November. If you're in Washington, Maryland, or Maine, you can vote FOR referendums aimed at passing marriage equality laws. And always, you can enter the debate at any time with grace, calm, and civility.