National Review's Ponnuru: End 'Witch Hunts' on Gay Marriage Foes

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 11:01 AM

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Some supporters of gay marriage have turned their victory into a campaign of persecution against objectors, crossing a line from championing their cause to punishing disagreement, National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru said Monday on Newsmax TV.

"In particular, what we're seeing is the very rapid triumph of the movement for same-sex marriage, and some of the most enthusiastic parts of that movement are — in the flush of the triumph — trying to crush all dissent," Ponnuru said on "America's Forum" with J.D. Hayworth and Ed Berliner.

The group mentioned a string of incidents: HGTV dumping Christian brothers David and Jason Benham for involvement in prayer meetings critical of gay marriage; the Miami Dolphins' fining safety Don Jones for a negative tweet about pro football's first openly gay draft pick, Michael Sam; Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigning under pressure after he donated to California's Prop 8 campaign supporting traditional marriage; and the A&E network's brief suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star and devout Christian Phil Robertson for calling homosexuality a sin.

"I hope that we can try to get people — including people who favor same-sex marriage — to take a step back and think, is this really the kind of country that we want to have, where people are hounded out of positions and get death threats merely for disagreeing?"

When Eich resigned under fire from Mozilla in April, one of his ouster's most vocal critics was blogger Andrew Sullivan, who is both gay and Christian. "If we are about intimidating the free speech of others," he wrote at the time, "we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us."

Ponnuru noted that the backlash against Eich, in particular, produced some needed soul searching.

"We did see some people who support same-sex marriage saying, wait a second, is this really where we want to go with this? Isn't this a kind of unpleasant and illiberal intolerance that we should be against?" Ponnuru said.

That self-reflection gives Ponnuru hope that the climate of intimidation will ease and people who don't support same-sex marriage or don't embrace gay culture won't always be hounded, disciplined or fired for their views.

"The majority of people who seem to be OK with same-sex marriage or support same-sex marriage aren't for this kind of atmosphere of witch hunts," he said.

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