NOM’s Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas finds one in Madison WI that is overflowing… with counter-protesters

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2010

Madison, the state capital of Wisconsin and a college town, has a long tradition of progressive activism. A very liberal island within a slightly more conservative state, in 2006 when Wisconsin voted in a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, 76% of Madison voters voted against. So surely the National Organization for Marriage had to know that Madison would not lend itself to media images of a strong show of support for their cause.

But I doubt that they predicted this (Tour Tracker):

That’s a hand-counted crowd of 466 pro-equality supporters, my friends. Four hundred and sixty-six. Easily the biggest crowd yet!

NOM’s side? Arisha counts 54.

That isn’t going to look encouraging for NOM’s “traditional marriage” supporters on the evening news.

Unlike at previous stops, NOM has not yet posted any pictures from today’s event. The pictures coming in from the equality side appear to be upbeat and positive.

UPDATE: This was what NOM dreamed to see coming up the street… they just assumed it would be supporters.

UPDATE TWO: The Courage Campaign has a video up of the counter protest coming down the street. If you had any question about the validity of the count, you have to check out this video. It takes nearly four minutes for the crowd to walk by.

In a pathetic attempt to spin their comparatively minuscule turn-out, Maggie Gallagher has a new theory as to why they were outnumbered eight to one (a little fact they fail to mention in their “recap”).

A number of people came up after the rally, telling us that the Madison cops (God bless ’em), in their zeal to keep the counter-protestors out, were preventing them from joining NOM’s rally.

Meanwhile NOM’s pictures are the usual pics of the speakers, but not the crowd, accompanied by their oh-so-impressive zingers.


In reviewing a tape of the rally, I heard Bishop Morlino clarify NOM’s definition of marriage: “One husband, one wife, one lifetime, with openness to children.” Translation: ban divorce and contraception. You don’t always see these visible in their propaganda, but if you look closely you see a pattern appear.

Let’s never forget that those who lead the charge to take away our civil freedoms don’t see us as the end game. We are but one step in their desire to impose the doctrines of their faith on all people.


July 27th, 2010

I’m flabbergasted by Maggie’s outright lies in her interview on this page: Same-sex marriage advocates – having lost in the California Supreme Court

The woman deliberately distorts information.

The CA Supreme Court upheld same-sex couple’s constitutional right to marry. It merely asserted that the referendum that followed went according to election rules. The CA Attorney General, however, admits he should never have allowed it to get on the ballot!

But Maggie knows all that. She also knows how short people’s memories are.


July 27th, 2010

Interesting link, Cocky. Maggie’s full of interesting quotes. Take this description of equality supporters — “they want to use the law to suppress and marginalize and stigmatize.”

Hmmm… Project much?

Lindoro Almaviva

July 27th, 2010

well, I have to say that it tickles me pink that 2 of the biggest crowds of protesters they have had to face have been in the Midwest. Afterall, they were expecting the Midwest people to show up in full force (and, well, they did), I just guess they were not counting on them being on the OTHER side.

I just love it!


July 27th, 2010

I’m curious: What sort of publicity is NOM using for this tour? Anything at all?

Personally, I could assess the small turnouts more accurately if I knew what efforts were made to get a crowd in the first place.

Just asking . . . .


July 27th, 2010

And just think, they will be soon heading for Saint Paul, Minnesota and Des Moines, Iowa on the 1st of August, I have been to both of these cities and I can imagine that they have the ability to out show the counter-protest groups for the last two stops, it this whole movement steam rolling or what?


July 27th, 2010

I think Iowa may surprise you. Marriage Equality is going over pretty well there – that’s a whole lot of folks with direct and personal stakes in making sure NOM doesn’t win the day, and a whole lot of other people who have made it pretty clear they don’t give a particular darn about it.


July 27th, 2010

Something tells me the Washington DC NOM stop on August 15th is going to be a doozie.


July 27th, 2010

Over at Joe.My.God, there is a story running that the whole NOM Bus tour is phony, a ruse designed to show just how “mean and nasty” the pro-marriage equality people are in prep for a legal battle later on (something akin to “ratf*cking” during the Nixon era). Props to the Pro Marriage Equality folks for not giving them any ammunition.

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2010

Johnson, that is based on the opinion of HRC’s VP of Communications. Or, I should say, on his speculation.

While it’s an interesting idea, I doubt that this was the sole reason. It’s a pretty expensive trip to plan for no reason other than hoping to be harassed.

And few courts would consider counter-protests to be evidence that those who sign signatures are in physical danger from gay people. Counter protests are a traditional part of our political theater.

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2010

Those thinking “well, it’s just Madison, no wonder there were no NOM supporters”, a few months ago a Tea Party group got about 10,000 to show up in Madison for a rally.

Regan DuCasse

July 27th, 2010

Hardy har har!
Now THAT is a Pride parade to get behind!
LOVE it!


July 28th, 2010

So, Timothy, who is paying for it do you think? And why?


July 28th, 2010


Yes, it is speculation, but might I suggest that the courts might not be the only group they are hoping to sway. I agree with you that it seems unlikely that any court would consider counter protests as proof of them being in physical danger. But it has also appeared to me that they have gone out of their way to “poke at” the counter protestors, making an angry response more likely. It does seem unlikely that they would get any footage that would serve them well in a court of law. The court of public opinion is a different matter. How many seconds of an angry face does it take to showcase in an ad? Is the donor base apt to be more impressed by the size of the counter protest or the fact that it has been nonviolent?

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