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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Anti-Gay Group Wants Its Rainbow Back

By Kilian Melloy -

A religious group seeking "to promote life-long married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage" says that gays appropriated the rainbow from Christian and Jewish tradition. Now the anti-gay religious right wants it back.

The argument offered by the head of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute is that the rainbow symbolizes everything from God’s covenant with humanity after the Great Flood to the cross-section of ethnic and religious demographics that joined forces to strip gay and lesbian families of marriage rights in California two years ago, reported Talking Points Memo (TPM) on Dec. 16.

As such, declares Jennifer Morse, the rainbow properly belongs not on display in gay Pride parades, but in Sunday schools and churches. TMP reports that Morse made her claims in an article published at anti-gay religious web site OneNewsNow. OneNewsNow went so far as to say that Morse viewed anti-marriage Prop. 8 proponents as "the original rainbow coalition," despite the term’s earlier application to at least eight different specific political entities ranging from a 2002-forged Kenyan alliance to a political movement in Israel, to Jesse Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition (which subsequently merged with another group, PUSH).

"Proposition 8 was passed by a great grassroots coalition that included people from all across the religious traditions, and also people of every race and color," asserted Morse. "We are the real rainbow coalition. The gay lobby does not own the rainbow."

As for gays having used the rainbow as a motif since 1978, "We can’t simply let that go by," Morse declared. "Families put rainbows in their children’s nurseries. Little Christian preschools will have rainbows... Noah’s Ark and all the animals... Those are great Christian symbols, great Jewish symbols."

Rainbows result when sunlight refracts through water vapor in the atmosphere. Biblical literalists assert that prior to the great deluge described in the Old Testament, rain did not fall from the sky; rather, water seeped up from the ground to provide surface water and moisture for crops. The Bible says that the rainbow first appeared after God established a covenant with Noah following the great flood.

A Dec. 16 AlterNet article on Morse’s declarations notes that Morse has participated in NOM’s anti-marriage equality "Summer of Marriage" tour. NOM has mounted campaigns in states across the country to prevent marriage rights from being extended to same-sex families, and to roll back family parity in states where marriage equality has been granted.

Text at the Alternet article reads, "The main campaign of the Ruth Institute is ’Gay Marriage Affects Everyone,’ a seminar led by Morse on the dangers of same-sex marriage.

"Among the ways ’gay marriage affects everyone,’ writes Morse, include the notions that ’same sex marriage will marginalize men from the family" and "increase the power of the state over civil society,’ " the Alternet article adds.
Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.

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