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NOM in Georgia and Florida

Timothy Kincaid

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.

UPDATE:

Project Q has a great write-up of the Atlanta rally.

UPDATE TWO:

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.

Comments

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Dan
August 8th, 2010 | LINK

“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.”

It seems strange that NOM urged people to stand for (actually against) marriage but gave them several handy reasons not to. It’s as if they wanted to fail. I wonder what their motivation for that might be. Surely they could have the pastors of large, conservative churches make announcements if they wanted larger crowds.

I know that, sadly, they’ve been misrepresenting their events by claiming that the counterprotesters are harassing them. They’ve even contrived a video to make it look like counterprotesters are intimidating them.

That’s very likely why they’re seeking small crowds – to try to stir up a reaction from the counterprotestors while seeming small and defenseless by comparison. But the quiet, prayerful counterprotest has frustrated their goal.

(the real) andrew
August 8th, 2010 | LINK

I’ve made a handy flowchart for dealing with the NoM types.

sad that MLK’s niece would turn up. that’s singularly disappointing.

good that they are otherwise fading into irrelevancy, though.

Regan DuCasse
August 8th, 2010 | LINK

The cynic in me agrees Dan. The way NOM will spin it, is that people stayed away because they’d heard how threatened the attendees for their side are or will be.

The way they took a dig at equality demonstrators not having jobs. The way they are claiming it’s all a struggle, because they are such civil rights activists now.

It is enough to make me want to blow soup.

grantdale
August 9th, 2010 | LINK

I think you may have overlooked the very skinny person. The one with three legs, and one eye.

That makes 17 people. So there.

Also Trail Tracker…. Ms. King is NOT a “Dr King”. The title should not be used in public life by those given an honorary doctorate (as a simple courtesy to both those who have actually earned their title and to those who may otherwise be mislead.)

grantdale
August 9th, 2010 | LINK

Oh. I see someone’s already mentioned it over there.
As you were.

Cassandra
August 9th, 2010 | LINK

You know, after reading these posts I realize that NOM calls every rally teriffic, no matter how many people were actually there. I don’t think that’s wilfull ignorance on NOM’s part; they had to have noticed that 16 people vs. 200 isn’t a huge turnout.

I think it’s a dog-whistle; they’re actually reinforcing their message whether a lot of people show up or a tiny number of people show up. Think about it. If only 16 people show up and it was a “great” rally according to NOM, this can be read as, “only 16 people bravely stood up for their rights against a crowd of 200 gay supporters.” At an earlier rally, they’d actually said something like “we had a small turnout, but that was because everyone on the NOM side had jobs.” So a tiny NOM rally works in their favor: NOM is either David facing off against the Gay Goliath, or NOM is the engine keeping the economy running while gays are shiftless and lazy.

For NOM, “great” is not about the turnout; if nobody showed up to the rallies they’d say “that didn’t stop our brave organizers from holding the rally themselves!”

Gay marriage supporters aren’t going to make NOM see the light by protesting NOM rallies in greater and greater numbers.

Thankfully, it’s not the 16 people who showed up at the NOM rally we have to convince–it’s the other thousands who didn’t bother to show up, who are watching on TV and reading on the internet, that is our true audience.

NOM knows this too, and that’s why they’re continually promoting the heck out of these tiny events instead of being embarassed by them–they are feeding that “we’re embattled” message to the people sitting at home as a counterpoint to our message, so that people who want to see that NOM-as-David & Gays-as-Goliath metaphor can hardly un-see it.

But they’re scared: if they felt secure in their position, there’d be no need for rallies to defend it, because the culture would defend it itself. But the culture’s stopped defending their idea for them, so they themselves must start fighting.

justsearching
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“Who can look at a crowd of people holding signs and yelling about equality when they are dressed like that? Who is going to take them seriously? The mere costume itself draws people’s attention away from their signs and off their message.”

I think Louis is hinting that we’re supposed to be reading NOM’s signs, paying attention to NOM’s message, and taking NOM seriously. Also, he’s clearly upset that the counter-protesters aren’t as uptight and boring as NOM is.

“This second man almost tripped over himself as he ran across the street and in front of oncoming traffic sideways.

Not only did he not look both ways before he crossed like I’m sure his mother taught him to as a child, but he purposely jumped out in front of moving traffic.

It’s not setting a good example for the kids that were at their protest. One of which they had yelling their twisted chants and holding thier [sic] signs.”

Those gay right supporters. They lack respect both for traditional marriage and for road-crossing etiquette.

splinter cell
February 7th, 2014 | LINK

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Would you be interested iin trading links or maybe guest authoring a bllog article or vice-versa?

My webnsite covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greaztly benefit from each other.

If you might be interested feel free to send me an email.
I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

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