August 11th, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage rolled its Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas into Charleston, West Virginia’s capital. Are you bored reading this yet? If not, you’re the only one who isn’t finding NOM’s little tour to be – shall we say – anti-climactic and less than stimulating.
The Tour Tracker said “Just eighteen NOM supporters stood to the side of the Capitol steps in the shade until Maggie Gallagher and the NOM staffers decided to bring the rally to them.” But I count about 26 folks in the picture above so either it was a miscount or the rest are NOM staff.
Yes, Maggie Gallagher was back for this stop. And she had this message for Charleston:
“Same-sex marriage is not a civil right – it is a civil wrong. . . . Thank you for joining the new generation of Americans standing up for marriage.”
I’m not sure which generation she’s sees standing for marriage, but the ones sitting on the grass seem to mostly belong to a generation that can’t exactly be called “new” or hold much promise for NOM’s future. Gallagher also seemed to be stretching a bit in her desire to inspire her supporters. Since “we won in California” doesn’t have the ring it had earlier in the tour, she’s selected example B.
“It’s a very bad idea to be a Republican for gay marriage,” continued Gallagher after pointing out that Carly Fiorina beat Tom Campbell, a pro-marriage Republican candidate for Senate in California.
There was no report as to whether the supporters leaped to their feet and started an impromptu Conga-line at that news. But I do think it suggests that NOM is seeing that even their Republican base is slipping away from them.
There were no priests or preachers scheduled for this stop, and the politician that was listed may not have shown up – neither NOM nor Tour Tracker mention him.
Counter-protesters didn’t bother showing up in Charleston (depriving NOM’s speakers of their favorite subject matter), opting instead to throw a pro-marriage rally a few blocks away. Attendance was estimated by one attendee to be “I’d say there were between 40 and 50 at the Fairness WV rally, but I’m not that good at estimating.”
The Senate Judiciary Chairman, Jeff Kessler, who has been blocking an effort to get an anti-gay constitutional amendment on the ballot, showed up at the counter-protest to offer his continued support. A couple of Unitarian ministers were there as well.
Thankfully, this Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas only has one stop on Friday in Harrisburg, PA, (with only Brian Brown and the local “family” group speaking) before their big finale in Washington, DC on Sunday. The Washington stop will partly define them. If they can’t draw a sizable crowd there, then they will be significantly embarrassed.
This tour has, in my opinion, diminished NOM’s reputation and standing in the political world. Unable to draw even a single large attendance has left them looking “all hat and no cattle”, as they say in Texas. Politicians notice this kind of thing and any threat that NOM could have leveraged has been dissipated by their inability to prove power.
In some ways, NOM’s tour may prove to be a valuable asset to our community.
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.
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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.
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"
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.
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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.
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