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Posts for September, 2014

Brian Brown, Sharon Slater Are Also At Moscow’s Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families

Jim Burroway

September 11th, 2014
Photo from the Charity Foundation of St. Basil's Facebook page.

Photo from the Charity Foundation of St. Basil’s Facebook page. (via Right Wing Watch)

Brian Brown is on the left. According to this online program, (Google translate here), he is spoke at a plenary panel this morning on “The Family, its Present and Future” at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior’s main hall. Patrick Buckley, an anti-abortion activist from Ireland, Thomas Ward of Britain’s National Association of Catholic Families, and John Weston of Canada’s Lifesite News were also on the panel. Just to give you an idea of the kind of company they’re keeping, other panel members include Abdolreza Azizi of Iran’s Islamic Consultative Council.

The program indicates that Austin Ruse is speaking today on “the status of life and family issues at the United Nations,”  ex-gay promoter and anti-abortion activist Miriam Grossman will present on whether “reproductive freedom frees procreation,” CBN’s Stephen Weber will speak on “restoration of paternity transformation of culture” (Google Translate may have mangled this),  Janice Shaw Crouse will speak on “successful communications strategy,” and Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater will speak on the “protection of children and families in the United Nations.”

Sharon Slater is a particularly ugly piece of work. Her organization, Family Watch International, which has managed to obtain consultative status with the United Nations, proudly features Ugandan Pentecostal pastor and “kill-the-gays” bill supporter Martin Ssempa as an African Coordinator for FWI. She has also spoken out in favor of Uganda’s horrific Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as well as similarly draconian laws in Nigeria and elsewhere. She has also worked closely with ambassadors from Syria and Iran to push her anti-gay agenda in the United Nations.

At least a couple dozen other Americans, Canadians and Europeans are speaking at the Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families despite American and European sanctions against several of the conference’s Russian sponsors over the illegal annexation of Crimea and the Russian military’s incursions into Eastern Ukraine. Two of the American organizers of the Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-of-Families, World Congress of Families’ managing director Larry Jacob and communications director Don Feder, have prime speaking slots — although, ostensibly, they aren’t representing the World Congress of Families while speaking at the Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-of-Families conference. They are speaking on behalf of  Jacobs Consulting and Don Feder Associates, respectively, which I think are similar in nature to Burroway Consulting and Timothy Kincaid Associates.

The Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families is taking place in several venues in the Kremlin and at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in the very same venues as the previously cancelled World Congress of Families, on the same dates, under the same theme, and with many of the same line-up of speakers. But remember: it’s not the World Congress of Families. Which is fitting, when you think about it. The Totally-Not-The-World-Congress-Of-Families is taking place in the land of the Totally-Not-Invading-Eastern-Ukraine. Authoritarian demagogues with totally-unbelievable propaganda machines seem to have a way of finding each other.

NOM’s Brian Brown Joins International Anti-Gay Organization

Jim Burroway

January 15th, 2014

In 2012, the National Organization for Marriage watched in horror as voters in three states approved measures to grant marriage equality to same sex couples and defeated a constitutional amendment in Minnesota to write discrimination into that state’s charter. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court, in two separate actions, struck down Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act and opened the way for Californians to resume marrying again. That same year, six more states voted to legalize same sex marriage. More recently, federal judges in Utah and Oklahoma have struck down those states’ constitutional bans on marriage equality.

In other words, it’s been a bad eighteen months for anti-gay activists generally and NOM in particular. No wonder NOM, like many others, is shifting its attention overseas. Jeremy Hooper at GLAAD discovered that NOM president Brian Brown has joined the board of directors of CitizenGO. Writes Hooper:

CitizenGO, which is based in Madrid (where Brian recently delivered a speech), is essentially a petitioning platform focused on global issues.  In addition to considerable focus on marriage inequality, CitizenGO also promotes and/or directs campaigns in support of speakers who claim that “homosexual activists have played a integral role in the rise of Fascist politics, including Nazism,” against the World Health Organization’s supposed “promotion” of homosexuality, against Canadian pride parades, and much more.  As you can see, CitizenGO has its eyes fixed all over the world and on all of the planet’s LGBT people…

CitizenGO even hosts a petition in support of radical international figure Scott Livelyone that describes homosexuality as “morally wrong and harmful to individuals and society.”  It’s clear what kind of world CitizenGo is trying to create.  It is now all attached to Brian Brown and to NOM.

But wait, there’s more.  It turns out that Brian is not just on the board of CitizenGO.  Instead, it appears that the organization Brian runs in tandem with NOM, the conservative rallying platform called ActRight, has absorbed CitizenGO as its own.  The CitizenGo logo now reads, “CitizenGo: Member of the ActRight Family”.

You won’t be surprised to learn that CitizenGO, along with the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families, Linda Harvey’s Mission America,  is a huge supporter of Russia’s law banning so-called “homosexual propaganda.”

NOM thinks their supporters are idiots

Timothy Kincaid

December 27th, 2013

It’s amusing to see just how desperate the National Organization for Marriage has become. And cynical.

An organization that at one time attempted to persuade those who might have been uncertain about marriage equality, NOM now has given up. Now they exist solely to funnel money from the Catholic Church unknown sources to anti-gay political campaigns and candidates. And their rhetoric has devolved to name-calling and rants against “the homosexual lobby” and “radical activists judges”.

For example, in today’s money-beg, Brian Brown complains:

As I mentioned right before Christmas, a federal judge (an Obama appointee) in Utah has issued a ruling invalidating their state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

So send money money money to “help us defend marriage from radical judges seeking to overturn the will of We the People and to impose their radical social agenda on ordinary Americans!”

And he goes on to explain

This ruling just underscores the importance of the work that NOM is already planning for 2014. I wrote to you earlier this month about the critical importance of retaking the United States Senate in the coming election year. Securing a majority of pro-marriage Senators would allow us to block President Obama’s appointments of extremist, activist judges and ensure that he doesn’t continue to stack the courts all across the country with activists who want to impose same-sex marriage on every one of us.

Brian Brown is politically savvy enough to know that this is an absurd statement. He knows that not only would a GOP majority have refused to block the appointment of “extremist, activist” Judge Richard Shelby, but that his nomination came from Orrin Hatch (R – Utah) and was strongly supported by Mike Lee (R – Utah).

But Brown thinks that NOM’s supporters are not sophisticated enough to discover this for themselves. He thinks they are stupid enough not to notice that it’s not just Obama appointees that are ruling for marriage.

He may be right.

Glorious victory in NOMian reality

Timothy Kincaid

July 17th, 2013

Brian Brown with the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) is celebrating today. (NOMblog)

Our opponents and those in the biased media say, “It’s inevitable. You can’t win. Give up…”

I couldn’t disagree more!

In 2008, I heard the same things when we worked on Prop 8 in California…and we WON!

In 2009, I heard the same things when we worked on Question 1 in Maine…and we WON!

In 2010, I heard the same things when we worked in Iowa to oust state Supreme Court justices…and we WON!

In 2011, I heard the same things when we worked in New York to oust legislators who flipped on marriage and betrayed their constituents…and we WON!

And last year, I heard the same things when we worked in North Carolina to pass an amendment to the state constitution protecting marriage…and we WON!

Ah yes, it’s a great day in NOMville. Just look at their glorious victories in California, Maine, Iowa, and New York where the anti-equality group WON!

But over here in the real reality, marriage equality is celebrated in all four of those states. Which, I suppose, bodes well for the future of North Carolina.

This whole declaration of glorious victory is part of Brown’s latest pitch for funds. Which suggest to me that either he has no real need for individual support or he thinks his donors are delusional.

Email of the Day

Jim Burroway

August 23rd, 2012

Umm... hold on a sec...

Let’s be clear about something: the homosexual lobby and their puppet politicians’ assault on Chick-fil-A is just the beginning.

You see, wealthy homosexual activists, such as the so-called Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, are not merely threatening, bullying, and attempting to destroy a great American business—they are declaring war on anyone who disagrees with their radical agenda.

And why? To bully and intimidate the media and enough politicians and activist judges to force homosexual marriage as the law of the land—thereby destroying the time-tested, God ordained, traditional institution of marriage.

Wait a minute…. who wrote this?

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Savage and Brian Brown’s Dinner Conversation

Jim Burroway

August 22nd, 2012

The video you’ve been waiting for has been posted online

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Dear Brian Brown: When it comes to violence and vilification, NOM is there.

Rob Tisinai

August 16th, 2012

Dear Brian Brown,

After Wednesday’s shooting at the Family Research Council, you quickly leveraged the event into a self-serving denunciation of the Southern Poverty Law Center. I can’t fault you for that. After all, in the wake of Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, I denounced Sarah Palin for lacking the decency to take down her “target map” with its Giffords crosshairs as the Congresswoman struggled through intensive care. However…

However, you’d be more persuasive if you didn’t exploit this crime to lie about yourself and your organization.

NOMblog reports your statement:

Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council a ‘hate group’ for its pro-marriage views, and less than a day ago the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement calling FRC a ‘hate group’—they even specified that FRC hosts events in Washington, DC, where today’s attack took place.

NOM has always condemned all violence and vilification connected to our ongoing national debate about the meaning and definition of marriage.

Please, Brian, this event is too important for casual deception. NOM has long, long history, not just of failing to condemn violence and vilification, but of promoting it.

  • When Reverend Ariel Torres Ortega stood on your stage as your guest at your rally and proclaimed that gays are “worthy to death,” NOM was there. But you didn’t condemn it at the event, on your website, or on your blog.
  • When Bishop Robert Evans announced gay marriage represents “the evil modern day works of Satan,” NOM was there to spread the message.
  • When Kirk Cameron called same-sex marriage a threat to civilization, NOM was there to create a video helping him spread his views and dubbing him a “champion of marriage.”
  • When Fox News asked NOM founder Maggie Gallagher about a pageant contestant who said gays “shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them,” Maggie was there, not to condemn the call for violence, but to praise “her courage in coming forward.”
  • When commenters on your own blog responded to your complaints about incendiary rhetoric by by claiming homosexuality is “a perverted act, just like pedophilia,” and saying they understand why a country like Uganda would want to punish gays with the death penalty? Maggie Gallagher was there — but to defend her own self, not to condemn violence and vilification.

NOM is there. Over and over, when gays are demonized, vilified, and threatened with violence, NOM is there. Whatever history you have of condemning such rhetoric is dwarfed by your history of sponsoring it.

The shooting at FRC was deplorable. Violence has no place in this debate. We can look at this shooting, as well as the people who are killed every year just for being gay, and agree on that. You certainly say you agree. So please, live up your own press release: stop supporting the very thing you claim to condemn.

Sincerely,
Rob Tisinai

Brian Brown Accepts

Jim Burroway

May 29th, 2012

From the NOM Blog:

Dan — I accept and will look forward to debating you at your dining room table. As I said in my challenge to you, anytime, any place.

While I appreciate the invitation that you have extended to my wife, she will not be able to attend. She is a full-time mom with seven beautiful children and an eighth on the way.

Dan Savage invited National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown to a debate at Dan Savage’s dining table, with the New York Times’s Mark Oppenheimer serving as moderator. The original invitation included having Brown’s wife and Dan’s husband also at the table. A date and time will be announced later, giving Savage time to redecorate his living room and dining room for the occasion.

Dan Savage Proposes Venue for His Debate with NOM’s Brian Brown

Jim Burroway

May 23rd, 2012

Earlier this month, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, in a fundraising letter and blog post, challenged Dan Savage to a debate:

Let me lay down a public challenge to Dan Savage right here and now: You want to savage the Bible? Christian morality? Traditional marriage? Pope Benedict? I’m here, you name the time and the place and let’s see what a big man you are in a debate with someone who can talk back. It’s easy to make high-school girls cry by picking on them. Let’s pick on someone our own size!

Savage quickly picked up the challenge, saying he will name the time and place. In yesterday’s Savage Love podcast, Savage named the place:

Where? My dining room table. Place? Seattle, Washington. Here’s the deal. We can fill a room with my screaming partisans and your screaming partisans and we’ll both play to our respective peanut galleries and I think both of us have a little bit of grandstander in our souls and we will work that and I think that will create more heat than light.

And so what I’d like to do is challenge you to come to my house for dinner. Bring the wife. My husband will be there. and I will hire a video crew and we will videotape sort of an after dinner debate. The trick here is you have to acknowledge my humanity by accepting my hospitality and I have to acknowledge yours by extending my hospitality to you. And I’m willing to do that.

The New York Times’s Mark Oppenheimer will moderate the debate. amd the unedited video tape will be posted online. Brian Brown has yet to accept the response to his original anytime/anyplace challenge.

Anti-Gay Groups Conspire to Add Anti-Gay Measures To Defense Authorization Bill

Jim Burroway

May 8th, 2012

Chris Geidner is reporting that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) will introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act before the House Armed Services Committee tomorrow to weaken the implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The amendment would, in effect, create a “conscience protection clause” for military chaplains, giving them free reign to denounce LGBT servicemembers as shameful and sinful. Another measure, which would prohibit chaplains from performing same-sex marriages under the guise of enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act on military bases, would ironically have the effect of violating the consciences of chaplains who support marriage equality.

Both measures are currently part of the same amendment, but they may instead be broken up into two separate amendments in order to “(give) us the strongest hand going into conference with the Senate,” according to an email sent to amendment supporters form Justin Johnson, Akin’s legislative director. Similar measures were included in the House version of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, but were dropped during conference negotiations with the Senate, which did not include similar measures in their version of the act.

The email had a interesting list of names in the address line:

Among the advocates included in the planning for the amendments being offered and from whom Johnson was seeking input were Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness; Brian Duggan, a lobbyist for the National Organization for Marriage; Austin Nimocks and Daniel Blomberg, lawyers with the Alliance Defense Fund; Arthur Schulcz, a Virginia lawyer who brought a lawsuit on behalf of chaplains claiming religious discrimination even prior to the repeal of DADT; Tom McClusky from the Family Research Council; Doug Lee and Ron Crews from the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty; members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services; Nathaniel Bennett, the director of government affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice; and the president of the Associated Gospel Churches, which has highlighted on its main page a link to the organization’s “Resolution on Homosexuality and the Military.” FRC has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Well, This Will Be Fun

Jim Burroway

May 4th, 2012

Dan Savage has accepted NOM’s Brian Brown challenge to a debate to the death. It’s Orville Redenbacher time.

Email of the Day

Jim Burroway

April 13th, 2012

Oops. Not him this time.

Right now we’re under relentless attacks—that are draining us of critical resources that could be deployed in states and at the federal level to directly affect the future of marriage…. . . and these bullies think they can get away with it!

Friend, I know in my heart that they are wrong. They can’t get away with it, because you and those like you all across the country have stepped up time and time again.

But I urgently need you to stand with us today. So far, we have raised just $29,672 in this campaign. In order to respond to these latest attacks and continue to be effective throughout 2012, we NEED to reach our goal of $200,000 over the next several days. I know that a few of you reading this message can afford a gift of $5,000 or even $10,000 or more. If that is you, please consider what you can do to help at this pivotal moment.
But we’re all on the hook, responsible for how we use whatever resources we have.

If we stand united, we cannot be stopped. But if we don’t, our opponents will silence us one at a time until there is no one left to speak for marriage. So whether it’s $20 or $20,000, it’s important that we stand together in this battle.

Oh wait, that conspiratorial email didn’t come from Eugene Delgaudio. It’s from National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown. Lately I’ve been having trouble telling them apart.

NOM Boycotts Starbucks

Jim Burroway

March 21st, 2012

Maggie Gallagher and Johnathan Baker, National Organization for Marriage’s director for what they call “The Corporate Fairness Project,” attended the annual Starbucks shareholder meeting today. Baker, as a Starbucks shareholder, addressed the meeting and took the board to task for the “controversial stand Starbucks has taken here in Washington in support of same-sex marriage.” Citing a Starbucks message endorsing Washington’s Referendum 74, a proposal that would allow marriage equality to take effect in the state, as reflecting Starbucks’ core values as a company, Baker asked if that decision was made by the board of directors and questioned whether the decision would hinder the company’s efforts to expand internationally. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz responded:

Any decision of this type or magnitude has be made with great thoughtfulness and I would assure you that a senior team of Starbucks discussed this. And it was, to be candid with you, not something that was a difficult decision for us and we did share this with some members of the board as well. [Applause and cheers]

I don’t want to answer the question in any way that would be disrespectful to you or other people who might see it differently. I think Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we are going to make a decision that we think is consistent with the heritage and the tradition of the company that perhaps may be inconsistent with one group’s view of the world or a decision we may make. I said earlier in my prepared remarks that we’re not perfect, and from time to time we may make a mistake or people may view it as a mistake. But we made that decision, in our view, through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.”

And with that, NOM announced their boycott:

“Unlike our opponents, we do not target whole companies for the actions of an individual business executive in that company,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “But Starbucks has taken a corporate position in support of redefining marriage for all of society. We will not tolerate an international company attempting to force its misguided values on citizens. The majority of Americans and virtually every consumer in some countries in which Starbucks operates believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. They will not be pleased to learn that their money is being used to advance gay marriage in society.”

Letting People Do Things They Used To Be Prohibited From Doing Is Just Like Slavery

Jim Burroway

March 21st, 2012

Or something like that, according to NOM’s Brian Brown who likened his efforts to roll back marriage equality to those of abolitionists “in the late 1800s.”

NOM’s mininalist definition of victory

Timothy Kincaid

March 21st, 2012

CNN’s Thomas Roberts (who is gay) interviewed Brian Brown, the National Organization for Marriage’s President, and Craig Stowell, the Republican co-chair of Stand Up for New Hampshire Families (our side), about the expected vote today in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Brown gave his usual posturing and nonsense.

(Segue alert: don’t you get tired of talking heads saying the same nonsense over and over regardless of the situation? I laughed out loud this week when Brooke on Dancing With the Has-Beens asked Martina Navratalova about her scores. Instead of the standard “we are really pleased, we went out and gave it our best and had a lot of fun, so we hope America votes for us” that every other contestant said, Navratalova said, “oh, it was the same score we got in rehearsals so I guess it is what it is.” Back to the topic.)

He laughably ranted about “special interest groups from out of state” (leaving the New Hampshirite the opportunity to point out that Brian isn’t a local boy) and claimed that 119 legislators were “booted out because they took it upon themselves to redefine marriage” (a notion scoffed at by the Republican leaders who ignored the issue for a year and a half because “we were elected to address the economy”).

But here’s the sentence you need to pay attention to.

“We’re looking forward to the vote today. I expect we’re going to have a majority here. I think it’s going to be historic to have a state vote and have a majority vote say, “this was wrong, we made a tragic mistake two years ago and we’re going to right that wrong” and I expect that we’re going to see a victory today.”

NOM’s definition of success is “a majority”. And, mind you, this for a bill that would simply revert to full civil union protections.

In terms of actual impact, if NOM eeks out “a majority”, we win. Governor Lynch will veto the bill (assuming it survives the Senate) and NOM will scramble to try and find enough votes to overturn the veto.

Keep in mind that Republicans have a veto-proof majority. If this is a party-line vote, then marriage equality would be reversed in that state. But Brown has conceded that NOM isn’t expecting a veto-proof majority. They aren’t expecting to win, they are just laying the framework to argue that a vote in which they lose all Democrats and a large number of Republicans and which will never become law is “historic”.

The vote has not yet happened. And in politics anything can happen. But NOM’s admission suggests that the vote today will be good news.

I can feel pity for Brian Brown. Surely it cuts at one’s sense of being to constantly spin and lie and pretend. When one goes into quiet contemplation, surely “winning” seems little consolation for giving up your integrity, and when you aren’t winning it must seem like an unfair trade. If you sell your soul, shouldn’t you at least get something for it?

As Thomas asked him,

Brian… what the National Organization of Marriage does to try and stand against the tide of equality, isn’t it exhausting?

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