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?

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.