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NOM Threatens To Demonstrate Its Own Irrelevance

Jim Burroway

August 1st, 2013

The National Organization for Marriage has resonded to the arrival of marriage equality in Rhode Island and Minnesota today with another promise to retaliate against state lawmakers and roll back the clock:

With marriage having been redefined and same-sex ‘marriages’ beginning today in Minnesota and Rhode Island, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today reminded state politicians that it will work to hold them accountable to voters come election day. NOM has pledged to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure that voters know who is responsible for redefining marriage.

…Virtually no politician in Minnesota or Rhode Island ran on a platform that openly pledged that he or she would redefine marriage if elected to office. Yet, when given the opportunity, they did so. NOM has pledged to spend up to $500,000 in Minnesota and $100,000 in Rhode Island informing voters about the issues.

“When the inevitable consequences happen, we will make sure that voters know who is responsible for them,” Brown said. “This issue is far from settled in either of these states.”

NOM’s track record for retaliation against lawmakers is, well, not very impressive. So all that money they’re pledging to spend in Minnesota and Rhode Island? Be my guest.

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Lindoro Almaviva
August 1st, 2013 | LINK

Really? Like 100,000 is going to make a dent in politics these days. But,hey,by all means, lets pump all that money into the local economy. Thanks, NOM

Hunter
August 1st, 2013 | LINK

So they’re going to “inform the voters on the issues.” That’s certainly a far cry from the “retribution” promised in New York. And I think the voters in both states already know what the issues are — especially Minnesota, since the voters there defeated NOM’s anti-marriage amendment at the ballot box.

Dan
August 1st, 2013 | LINK

Here is something I haven’t seen before from NOM. They’re vowing to spend “up to $500,000 in Minnesota and $100,000 in Rhode Island.”

“Up to” $500,000 dollars could be as little as a dollar or two. I don’t think NOM has $500,000 to spend.

homer
August 1st, 2013 | LINK

Numerous states will have ballot measures to repeal anti-gay marriage amendments in 2014. NOM will not have the money to spend on all of them. The LDS Church isn’t going to waste money. I’m guessing the Catholic Church will also be cutting back their contributions. Tough to be Brian Brown now.

Maire
August 2nd, 2013 | LINK

What a vindictive tone Brown takes on this issue. He gives the word “homophobia” a freshly sharpened edge of hatred. But his naivete is more startling: “NOM has pledged to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure that voters know who is responsible for redefining marriage.” Surely the voters know who is responsible — the people are responsible and always have been responsible for deciding the rights and privileges and obligations and scope of marriage laws. And on expanding the scope, the people are speaking. So go ahead, NOM, and spend floods of money telling the voters what we already know! Your money has been far worse spent.

John
August 2nd, 2013 | LINK

I have news for him. The majority of people in Rhode Island support marriage equality. If people in a district want to vote out a politician who supported marriage equality, we don’t need some outside hate group telling us so. Rhode Island is a small state and people here are very aware of what our politicians are doing.

Hunter
August 3rd, 2013 | LINK

As is so often the case, Shakespeare to the rescue: the first thing that came to mind when I read this this morning was “. . . full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

After all, no one has redefined marriage — it’s still the recognition by the community of the establishment of a new household.

And now NOM is threatening to nickle-and-dime state races. Lo, how the mighty have fallen. (I guess the bishops in those dioceses are moving their money into trust funds for cemetery maintenance.)

Hunter
August 3rd, 2013 | LINK

Shakespeare to the rescue: “. . . full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

After all, no one has redefined marriage — it’s still the recognition by the community of the establishment of a new household.

And now NOM is threatening to nickle-and-dime state races. Lo, how the mighty have fallen. (I guess the bishops in those dioceses are moving their money into trust funds for cemetery maintenance.)

Regan DuCasse
August 4th, 2013 | LINK

There are words thrown around by NOM’s supporters that the Minnesota and RI legislators were liars, for not fulfilling NOM’s wish list.
True, a few legislators changed their minds who’d voiced support for traditional marriage.
But at the end of the day, there was nothing they could defend in the law to support discrimination.
We know, each and every defense taken apart, isn’t legal. Nor Constitutional. Or must apply equally to heterosexuals.
This is why, even with voter majorities, the law would still be built on quicksand.
Amazing how many anti gay people refuse to get that.
They’ll try to take their anger out on gay folks at the macro level. Refusing goods and services and so on.
Trying to encourage the like minded to disobey non discrimination ordinances in public accommodation.
When it’s all said and done, they haven’t even been able to find clergy who have been sued, or censored for refusing to marry a gay couple.
It’s a culture war the anti gay have waged, with rusty and useless weapons.
Too bad. So sad.

Nathaniel
August 4th, 2013 | LINK

Hunter, I can’t be sure, but I suspect the reason NOM isn’t threatening to target specific politicians in these two cases as they did in NY has to do with party affiliation. In NY, the Democrats did not hold enough of the legislative houses to win equality, even if they all voted for it, so some Republicans had to buck the party. The targeted retaliation from NOM was against those Republican politicians, which NOM branded as party traitors. If I am not mistaken, both RI and MI had sufficient numbers of Democrats to enact equality. Since the Democrat platform supports equality, it is kind of hard for NOM to target any few individuals as party traitors. The only thing they can hope for is to make the next election about ‘the gays’ and hope enough legislators are replaced with sufficiently anti-’the gays’ individuals that the legislative bodies are willing and able to overturn equality. But I suspect, even if they could accomplish major legislative shake-ups, enough time will have passed that repealing equality won’t seem worth it – that doesn’t seem to take very long.

Zack
August 4th, 2013 | LINK

The sad fact is that in the Minnesota House,there will propbably be some Democrats and a couple of Republicans who will lose their jobs over this,many of the rural areas voted yes on the ban by a lot.
Even if the house went back into Republican hands in MN thought,the Senate won’t be up for reelection until 2016,which means it will still be in Democratic hands which means any marriage ban will be DOA.
2017 will be the earliest these bigots have a shot,so good luck with that.

Nathaniel
August 5th, 2013 | LINK

Zack, they would still need to turn over enough Senate seats this election cycle to have a shot next cycle. As long as they fail to do that, they don’t stand a chance. More still, they can only take legislative action (since their last ballot initiative failed, I doubt they would want to try again so soon), which can be vetoed by the governor, extending the life of this legislation until at least after the next gubernatorial election. By then, I imagine most anti-gay Minnesotans would have ceased to care; God could have struck the state with a million plagues by then, if He was going to at all.

MattNYC
August 5th, 2013 | LINK

I didn’t read the actual release so I don’t know if they specifically think they can overturn the new laws and/or re-institute marriage bans. With “facts on the ground”, i.e., hundreds or thousands of legally married same-sex couples, very few courts are going to want to tackle this in view of the demise of Prop 8–EVEN with the non-intervention of SCOTUS.

I think this is truly just an attempt at vindictiveness. They will fail anyway–even at knocking off more than a smattering of Equality supporters. They are an ever-diminishing shadow of their never-really-was selves, tilting at windmills. Hunter’s Shakespeare quote says it best.

Nathaniel
August 6th, 2013 | LINK

MattNYC. Vindictiveness, yes. Successful… well that’s another issue. The worst, yet likeliest scenario is that many politicians they are against will lose, but not because of them or marriage. NOM will crow while the rest of us go “but wait….” There are many controversial issues vying for our attention, while our politicians are locked into two massive and completely opposite groups. Without intermixing in policy stances, it is hard to pick on one issue without a sweep in every other. So perhaps the handling of state budget or corporate taxes will piss off enough voters to get a change, but NOM will claim it is all about marriage.

This might be interesting to see, though. A new scenario for NOM: their politicians win, but won’t do anything to overturn equality. I am sure many Republicans will be happy to see this ‘issue’ disappear, or, for all practical purposes (as you suggest), be taken out of their hands. But that doesn’t leave NOM very many options. Would they willingly accept defeat, then? Or would they keep backing increasingly extreme politicians (people so vile they can’t even win in a primary)? Too bad we are still a few years away from such scenarios.

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