The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

One band’s inner struggle, one org’s outer war on national harmony

March 18, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper, Guest Contributor

Thanks to my earlier investigation, we now know that the reason the band usually known as Scythian will be performing at NOM's upcoming "March For Marriage" under the alternate band name UltraMontane is because two of the band's original members oppose NOM's discriminatory plans.  This weekend on his public Facebook wall, the drummer of Scythian, Andrew Toy, made his personal view perfectly clear:

Scythian FB Post

(h/t: Jamie McGonnigal)

This kind of stuff is huge.  This shows the clear contrast between the two sides that will be standing up in D.C. on March 26.  The three band members who are deciding to go with NOM are making a choice: a choice to not be an LGBT ally and to not support the fundamentals of equality.  Andrew, by sitting out rather than going along, is showing what it means to be an ally—one who is willing to do the right thing even if it comes with a cost attached.  His words, while simple, put him (and, by extension, our side) in the supportive camp, leaving the other position in its proper place of opposition. 

On its band page, Scythian said this of the conflict the band is facing:

Scythian Facebook

The truth, however, is that showing up to perform at a march that will go down in history as being against certain American taxpayers' equality goes far beyond the bounds of simple disagreement.  The band members who choose to perform with NOM are choosing to underscore and, therefore, embolden the hostile message of the NOM speakers—one of whom has said marriage equality is a "satanic plot to destroy our seed"; another of whom has said gay people are to be celibate and only have "chaste friendships"; another who has compared children of same-sex parents to children who lost parents on 9/11; etc.—on a day when the highest court in our land will be making crucial decisions about freedom and its meaning.  This will not be an example of three band members having a public debate about our constituion and its principles.  This will not be a nuanced political conversation.  This event will be a scene that will surely be seen in future documentaries covering LGBT people's long struggle over persecution.  By booking this gig, the band members are buying into a loaded musical legacy that will be very hard to shake.

It is quite easy for those who support discriminatory events like this NOM march to claim that they have the "utmost respect for each others' freedosm of opinion" since the opinion that stands against their own is quite easy to support.  But on our side of the fence, the view is much different.  From our side of the fence, we look over and see a "differing opinion" that quite literally denies us of rights, welfare, connection to our families, and overall peace of mind.  On March 26, the entire world will see this contrast play out on the National Mall.

The other band that had been booked for the day, the Lee Boys, backed out coupled with a pointed reminder that "music is about love."  I sincerely hope the other three members of Scythian will also reconsider this, a far-from-loving choice that's likely even more ill-advised than our current historical understanding allows us to fully grasp.