The viral YouTube video “Not Alone” begins with men and women of all ages and races sitting down and looking into the camera with mild trepidation.
“I am a little bit nervous about people, kind of, hearing that I am this way and then thinking, well, she’s not welcome here,” the first woman says over a soundtrack of soft piano.
The others then offer their own enigmatic confessions.
“I am different. We’re all different,” says a kindly young white man with a goatee.
“People probably think I am already weird, anyway,” says a southeast Asian man in formal attire.
But while the dialogue and aesthetics are modeled after earnest videos encouraging gays and lesbians to come out, the people in this clip aren’t asking to be accepted as members of the LGBT community – they’re asking to be accepted as opponents of same-sex marriage.
The video was released the day before the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage last week. It was produced by an organization called Catholic Vote and promoted with with the slogan “Speak the truth with love.”
Many of the video’s speakers emphasize that they treasure their gay friends, and their opposition to gay marriage derives from religious conviction not bigotry.
“I love my friends, several of them happen to be gay … I happen to know what marriage is, and I don’t see how it could change,” one man explains.
The video expresses a growing concern among social conservatives that as same-sex marriage grows in acceptance, the stigma that once attached to gays and lesbians will be directed onto them.
Many point to last year’s ouster of Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich as a sign of an increasingly intolerant climate for those with traditional views about marriage. Eich resigned from the software company amid public outcry over a donation he had made to California’s Proposition 8, which stripped the state’s gays and lesbians of their right to marry.
In their editorial on the resignation, the conservative publication National Review wrote, “The gay agenda of the moment is, ironically enough, to force nonconformists into the metaphorical closet.”