The message this poster seeks to convey is that it is normal, even for “normal people” (i.e. non-homosexuals) to support the novel concepts of family and marriage promoted by the ILGA campaign. Any opposition to these novel concepts is dismissed as “ridiculous” and “offensive”, and the opponents are portrayed as the gullible disciples of “some clergy”. (What apparently the beholder is supposed to read between the lines is that those “some clergy” belong to the fundamentalist fringe of their respective religious communities, whereas the mainstream of those communities is in fact supportive of the ILGA agenda… the truth, however, is that ALL major religious traditions in Europe repudiate homosexual behaviour.) When reference is made to the defenders of traditional family values, the word “defenders” is put between quotation marks, suggesting that those opponents merely pretend to defend values, while in reality their one and only motivation is their irrational hatred against gays and lesbians. Is there any basis for such insinuations? Would it not be a pre-condition for a serene debate to assume that the other side is arguing in good faith, and that the concerns it expresses are genuine? Would it not be more appropriate to give an answer to such concerns, rather than just calling them “ridiculous” and “offensive”?

In a democratic society, politics should be based on the exchange of rational arguments, not on negative campaigning. But this poster does not present any rational arguments in favour of same-sex marriage or gay adoption. Instead, its apparent purpose is to prevent the exchange of rational arguments from taking place and to belittle, marginalise and denigrate those holding different views. The simple strategy consists in telling people: don’t listen to the arguments of our opponents – they are bad people.

Without doubt, a lobby group like ILGA Europe has the right to use such demagoguery if it believes this to be helpful for the advancement of its agenda. Nobody will be surprised at the apparent lack of argument in their propaganda, or at their use of defamatory language. But the European Commission should know better than to provide a forum for this style of campaigning, or to subsidise it with taxpayers’ money. Given that it is the exclusive competence of Member States to regulate on marriage and family, the Commission seems to have no reason at all for getting involved in a discussion on those issues. But if it does, it should at least respect that in a democratic society it is perfectly legitimate and acceptable to defend “traditional” family values.

Far from being conducive to a fair and balanced debate, the Commission’s uncritical moral and financial support to this campaign could be seen as disrespectful, offensive and discriminatory against all those who do not happen to agree with ILGA’s absurd re-definitions of “family” and “marriage”.