Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How Not To Win Supporters

I heard yesterday from two of the Religious Institute supporters about an Internet campaign to have people call Senators who support the Federal Marriage Amendment and ask the poor receptionist about the Senators' sex lives. The point, I suppose, is that unless the Senator has only procreative, vanilla sex himself, he (and I think these are all he's) has no right to say anything about someone else's sex life.

I understand the temptation -- and the anger -- behind these calls. Surely, as Prime Minister Trudeau said in 1969 when Canada decriminalized homosexuality, the state has no place in anyone's bedroom.

But, I vehemently oppose these tactics and believe that they are sure to backfire. They feed into people's homophobia ("see, we told you these weren't nice people") and fears. How much better it would be to call and leave a message that says, "I'm a person of faith and want the Senator to vote NO on the FMA. I believe that where there is love the sacred is always present, and that efforts to build discrimination into the Constitution are immoral."

That's all the receptionists needs to hear. They mark down on a tally sheet that one more constitutent stands on the side of love. And maybe they thank you for your call.

Which if you haven't made yet, the Senate still hasn't voted. See Sunday night's blog for the phone number.

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