Don’t Mess With Marriage? Don’t Mess With Equality! Bumper Stickers to Counter the Meme.
Thanks to Pam’s House Blend, I’ve been made aware of a new campaign by the “National Organization for Marriage,” an anti-equality front group combining the money of the Roman Catholic Church with the marketing machinery of Focus on the Family. The NOM is deploying its deep pockets to try and distribute two million free bumper stickers that read “Don’t Mess With Marriage!” and look like this:
There are some hefty substantive problems with this message. One is that the Catholic Church and Focus on the Family are too cowardly to come out and identify themselves as the sponsors of this bumper sticker. If they did that, then people would recognize that the anti-equality effort was being driven by parochial religious interests and fundamentalist zealots. Instead of being honest, they’re hiding behind the “National Organization for Marriage” name. Even ignoring that, the message is actually backwards. The “NOM” and its anti-equality forces are actually the ones who want to “Mess with Marriage,” specifically by taking away people’s right to get married. Interfering in other people’s lives and restricting other people’s choices? That’s what I call messing. Contravention of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under law? That’s what I call messing.
I don’t want to just complain about this mass-distributed bumper sticker as the money machine shoves it out there across the country. I want to counter it. So I’ve drawn up a set of bumper stickers inspired by, but differing from, the Don’t Mess With Marriage bumper sticker. These stickers use the phrase “Don’t Mess With Equality!” The stretching arc of equality is a feature of American history of which we can be proud, and in recognition of the patriotic nature of efforts to protect our liberty, I’ve added the equals sign in red and blue while keeping the white background.
Here’s the set I’ve come up with. If you’ve got some ideas to extend the set, be sure to leave a comment to this post and I’ll see what I can do. All of these are available as part of our Marriage Equality shop of stickers, lawn signs, buttons and shirts on the same-sex marriage issue.
Call out the anti-equality groups and reframe the central issues of this policy debate. Take the outrage back where it belongs.