Opposition to LGBT people and their human rights is being soft-sold among far right groups and to the public at large as opposition to same-sex marriage. The idea plays on the familiar adage of “hate the sin, love the sinner” in a way that makes it look like they’re only hating the sin when they’re trying to push the sinners back into suffocating closets or to a place where they need to cease to exist (preferably through ex-gay salvation, I’m assuming, but they don’t always seem too picky on that point).
It also plays on the fact that there is less public support for marriage equality than there is for LGBT human rights. Easier to fight the latter while masquerading as the former.
“Not missing a beat, atheist activist Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has uncorked yet another call for the Pentagon to weed out conservative Christians. In a Daily Kos posting, he wrote that chaplains who teach biblical marriage “don’t belong in the military. At this stage, the only honorable thing that these losers can do is to fold up their uniforms, turn in their papers, and get the hell out of the American military chaplaincy. If they are unwilling or too cowardly to do so, then the Department of Defense must expeditiously cleanse itself of the intolerant filth that insists on lingering in the ranks of our armed forces…”
Here’s how the original DailyKos article opens that quotation:
“Nobody is arguing that these losers don’t have a right to their religious beliefs – that right is sacrosanct, and is backed by the highest law of the land – the U.S. Constitution. However, as long as these faux “victimized” chaplains insist on accepting a government paycheck from us, the American taxpayers, while nurturing and maintaining the state of antagonism between their religion and the sexual/gender identities of servicemembers, then they don’t belong in the military…”
In fact, there’s very little in it specifically about marriage. The article is a rant about people who are opposed to co-existence with and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT) people.
But Knight’s position becomes much more palatable to people who aren’t paying enough attention, when it’s reframed to look like it’s about marriage, instead of human rights.
Similarly, the “conscience” argument becomes more acceptable to the general public when it looks like far right people don’t want to participate in a marriage ceremony, when it’s really about the right to deny people employment, housing and services, entirely.