The antigay National Organization for Marriage is channelling Clint Eastwood at the 2012 Republican National Convention — demanding that congressional Republicans set aside an empty chair at President Barack Obama's final State of the Union Address tonight.
In a breathless press release sent to supporters today, NOM "sharply condemned President Obama" for inviting Jim Obergefell, the Ohio gay man who is the named plaintiff in the landmark marriage equality decision handed down by the Supreme Court in June. Right Wing Watch has the complete text of the release.
"It's an outrage that President Obama is honoring the extermination of true marriage in our nation's laws as a result of an anti-constitutional, illegitimate ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court," said NOM president Brian Brown in the release. "President Obama is trying to honor something that is completely dishonorable because it strips from the law the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and substitutes a fiction from the left that marriage can be anything you want it to be."
As a remedy, NOM calls on Republican members of Congress to place an empty chair in the middle of the House of Representatives when Obama speaks tonight "to represent the more than fifty million Americans whose votes in support of traditional marriage were stolen by the US Supreme Court."
Keeping with the group's long-standing pursuit of perpetual victimhood, the press release closes by pointing to the "countless Christian small business owners [who] have been subjected to extreme punishment by the government" for refusing service to same-sex couples.
"If the President wanted to do justice concerning this ruling, he would have invited all the people of faith who have been victimized by it — bakers, florists, photographers, nonprofit groups, etc. — and apologized to them and the American people for the supreme lie that is same-sex 'marriage,'" said Brown in the release. "The Obergefell ruling has exposed the falsehood that there would never be consequences for redefining marriage, our most fundamental and important social institution."
NOM's email did not address the fact that there will in fact be a chair left intentionally empty at tonight's presidential address. Seated alongside Obergefell in the First Lady's State of the Union Guest Box, Ryan Reyes will be accompanied by an empty chair — which represents his partner, Daniel Kaufman, who was killed during a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., last month. Kaufman was one of 14 people at a county social services center killed when a husband-and-wife team opened fire; the empty chair at tonight's address is intended to symbolize all those lives lost to gun violence in 2015.