NOM in Georgia and Florida
August 8th, 2010
The time has come that we must now stand for marriage. I know how busy you are, with family, church, work and other commitments. Maybe you have never stood at a public rally or protest before. But if we don’t stand for marriage now, it could soon be too late.
With these stirring words, the National Organization for Marriage called for those who “support traditional marriage” to act now, join them on Saturday in Atlanta to show strength and unity in advancing their cause. And as an extra incentive, in Atlanta they had as a headliner Alveda King, MLK’s niece.
And drew their smallest crowd to date. (Tour Tracker)
We see that Dr. Alveda King has made it. She’s joined by only about 16 NOM supporters (Louis would call it 20 but we’re not counting you, Brian, Justin, Mike, the videographer, or the speakers).
Although their turnout was tiny, at least there was some racial diversity in Atlanta. In addition to King, two gospel singers entertained the few supporters (and the protesters, who enjoyed a song about unity) and there appear to have been a few African-Americans among the supporters.
Speaking of the protesters,
While today’s event may go differently, the outpouring of support from the pro-equality community is no different. We’re standing in a crowd of 254 equality supporters standing alongside a church across the street from the State Capitol.
The protesters rallied earlier at park before marching down to hold their silent protest of NOM’s event. Their crowds keep getting smaller and the protests larger, but I think that perhaps 16 supporter to 254 protesters might be the all-time worst ratio for any marriage-related event. So, if nothing else, I guess NOM can be proud that they’re setting records. Maybe that’s what NOM meant by “We just wrapped up a terrific rally with Dr. Alveda King in Atlanta.”
So then they were on to Orlado, Florida, were NOM did the smart thing and took their rally inside. This makes sense as their rallies are pretty much just religious speech anyway and their supporters often tend to be folks that are not accustomed to standing for an hour in the sun. Of course the trade-off is that church services don’t make very effective media images.
But air conditioning and a church pew were undoubtedly welcome for the 34 people who came to hear NOM. Amusingly but without even noting the irony, Brian Brown exhorted his audience – resting in the church – to stand for truth in the public square: “Each and every one of us has the responsibility to stand up for the good. This is our time to stand!”
NOM has been counting on the overturning of Prop 8 to provide a jump-boost to interest in their cause. Unable to get, well, hardly anyone to show up and support them, NOM was sure that churches and politicians would flock out now that Judge Walker had shown that there was a Real Threat to marriage. (Sunshine State News)
Well, this is Florida, it isn’t California. We have some powerful people in this state who respect our state Constitution and the laws in it,” [NOM spokesperson Ellen] Johnson said.
Some of those “powerful people” are running for office. And if ever the National Organization for Marriage wanted to get them on the record in support of their conservative position – and believed they had a chance to do it – it’s now, one day from the start of early voting in Florida
“This being a big year for conservative values, I think the candidates will back us up,” Johnson said.
If by “back us up,” Johnson meant “stay away and pretend they’ve never heard of you” then she’d be correct. It turns out that Florida’s politicians all had better things to do than have their picture taken in the same room as Brian Brown.
Meanwhile, outside, there was the now-common protest crowd.
134 equality activists are lining the sidewalk outside of the church, including the angels from Stand Up Florida and members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
I’m sure that NOM’s Louis Marinelli is delighted that the Sisters showed up; the Sisters are the anti-gays’ very favorite gay activist group. Yes, you and I know that they are street theater and that they actually raise a lot of money each year for charitable causes, but they also make very good propaganda material for those who want to claim that we all just want to mock them, their faith, and their God.
But at least there was no confrontation for NOM to videotape and the “gays hate God” message was diluted by the protesters joining in prayer.
Project Q has a great write-up of the Atlanta rally.
As expected, NOM’s bus driver, Louis Marinelli, entirely ignored his own little rally (and I do mean little rally), choosing to obsess instead about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the Angels. Oddly, Louis didn’t have a clue who these people were or why they were there. He somehow thought it was something about Halloween.
He didn’t recognize the habits (he thought they were wedding veils) and he thought it was the Angels that were a mockery. Lordy. I’m beginning to get the impression that Louis is perhaps uniquely situated for a career in driving buses.