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Posts for July, 2011

Still having fun, Maggie?

Rob Tisinai

July 22nd, 2011

Happiness is when reality exceeds your expectations. Apparently the National Organization “for” Marriage has officially lowered its expectations.

Over on their blog, NOM is happily touting a new poll in a post called, New Quinnipiac Poll: Majority Does NOT Support SSM:

The latest Quinnipiac poll:

Would you support or oppose a law in your state that would allow same-sex couples to get married?
Oppose: 48%
Support: 46%
Don’t Know/NA: 6%

Among Republicans:
Oppose: 72%
Support: 24%
Don’t Know/NA: 4%

Not so long ago, they’d have despaired at a slim margin like that. But with poll over poll over poll showing majority support for marriage equality, these numbers are the happiest news they can find.

That’s almost sad.

Heh, heh, heh.

You have to wonder, though:  How happy should they be? I hate spoiling their fun…but if you insist:

This is not the headline they want.

They wrote the headline, Majority Does Not Support SSM, but they’d much rather have written, Majority Opposes SSM. That’s one of their favorite talking points. Guess, they’ll have to retire it — even the polls they promote don’t let them say it.

So sorry, NOM.

The trend is against them.

They left a bunch of stuff out of their report. For instance, Quinnipiac’s comparison of these results to the ones they got two years ago:

Does that look like cause for a big NOM victory party?

So sorry.

They can’t even claim with confidence that they’re ahead.

Quinnipiac’s margin of error is ± 2%. That means the true results are somewhere in the range of 50-46 for NOM or 48-46 against NOM. Let me adjust the graphic to account for this margin of error. The wider lines indicate the 4% range for each result.

See how the lines now overlap? Didn’t used to happen.

So sorry.

They’re losing support in their base.

NOM gave us the Republican numbers for 2011, but not for 2009. Let me rectify that.

Republicans/SSM April 2009 July 2011
Oppose 80% 72%
Support 17% 24%
Don’t Know/NA 2% 4%

NOM, you can’t even hold onto your own base.

So sorry.

A solid majority thinks the federal government should recognize same-sex marriage.

Federal SSM Recognition? April 2009 July 2011
Oppose 39% 34%
Support 54% 59%
Don’t Know/NA 6% 7%

Oops — NOM, looks like you lost that one a couple years back. And you’re losing even worse now.

So sorry.

Did I say happiness is when reality exceeds your expectations? Then I’m happy, because I never expected NOM to view these numbers as good news. NOM has lowered its expectation and revealed it to the world. Maggie Gallagher recently said people should fight same-sex marriage because “Winning is fun.” I’m wondering Maggie, was New York fun? Were these numbers fun? Because writing this sure was fun for me.

Oh, I shouldn’t gloat.

So sorry.

NOM’s “Jesus” Is Crying

Jim Burroway

June 25th, 2011

This is what you’ll find on the National Organization for Marriage’s facebook page right now.

Also, “vengeance is mine,” sayeth Maggie Gallagher.

[Via Alvin McEwen]

Maggie’s Minnesota poll mixup

Timothy Kincaid

May 13th, 2011

Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage put out poll results last week that showed that Minnesotans overwhelmingly support a constitution amendment to ban marriage equality in the state.

56 percent of Minnesotans said only heterosexual marriages should be recognized in Minnesota and 42 percent said they supported same-sex marriage. The poll, by the National Organization for Marriage, Minnesota Family Council and Lawrence Research, also says that 74 percent of Minnesotans want to vote on the marriage amendment.

The Minnesota Independent asked for more details about the poll, the questions asked, and the methodology used. Considering the accuracy of some of Maggie’s other polls, this seems reasonable. But it turns out that polling questions and methods are just like images of anti-gay witnesses and the identity of anti-gay donors: super-duper secret.

But now the Star Tribune has put out their Minnesota Poll which finds responses a bit differently than NOM. They also happily provide details about their questions and methodology.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they oppose adding such an amendment while 39 percent favor a constitutional ban — views that appear to be a sharp reversal of poll results seven years ago.

Opposition to the ban generally cuts across all ages, though support rises gradually with age. Sixty percent of Minnesotans aged 18 to 34 oppose the idea. A slim majority, 51 percent, of Minnesotans older than 65 oppose the constitutional ban.

Now, I’m not calling Maggie a liar. Nor am I suggesting that she wouldn’t know the truth if it snuck up and bit her on her prodigious posterior. I’m not even implying that Maggie and her integrity parted long ago on such bad terms that if they find each other in the same room they scowl.

Not at all.

I merely think that Maggie accidentally reversed the “support” and the “oppose” results in her poll.

Anti-Gay Activists React to DOMA Announcement

Jim Burroway

February 23rd, 2011

Brian Brown from National Organization for Marriage lost his already limited capacity for original thought and channels John Paul Jones:

We have not yet begun to fight for marriage,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.“The Democrats are responding to their election loss with a series of extraordinary, extra-constitutional end runs around democracy, whether it’s fleeing the state in Wisconsin and Indiana to prevent a vote, or unilaterally declaring homosexuals a protected class under our Constitution, as President Obama just did,” said Brown. “We call on the House to intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power. This fight is not over, it has only begun!”

Maggie Gallagher chimes in:

On the one hand this is a truly shocking extra-constitutional power grab in declaring gay people are a protected class, and it’s also a defection of duty on the part of the President Obama,” said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM, “On the other hand, the Obama administration was throwing this case in court anyway. The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interests.”

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who charged that allowing same-sex marriages would lead to an epidemic of violent crime, called Obama the most divisive President in US History:

Regardless of President Obama’s own ideological agenda, as President, he and his Attorney General have a duty to defend lawfully passed legislation, especially when the essence of the law has been upheld by many courts. Thirty states have passed marriage amendments affirming marriage as one man and one woman. Today President Obama has abandoned his role as President of the United States and transformed his office into the President of the Divided States. He has been the most divisive president in American history. He has today declared war on the American people and the fundamental values that are shared by most Americans. His radicalism resulted in the historical push-back in the 2010 elections. His radicalism today will come back around when the people respond to this betrayal in 2012,” said Staver.

Focus On the Family’s Tom Minnery wants Congressional Republicans to drop whatever they’re doing and pick up the flag:

“We would hope Congress uses the tools at its disposal to counter this decision and defend marriage,” Minnery said.

What should Congress do? Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins wants Congress to take Holder’s bait by dropping their “only interested in the deficit” mantra and reveal what many suspect to be their true colors:

“With this decision the President has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress. It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the President’s neglect of duty,” concluded Perkins.

American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who recently said that he would “fight to the last ditch” for marriage discrimination, has Perkins’s back:

“I think it’s a clear sign that we simply cannot avoid engaging on the social issues,” Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the group, told TPM. “Mitch Daniels has called for a truce on social issues and that would be fine if the homosexual lobby was willing to lay down arms, but they’re obviously not and this proves it. A truce is nothing more than a surrender.”

So far, House Speaker John Boehner is staying on message and has declined to take the bait:

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized the administration change of position. “While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the president will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation,” said spokesman Brendan Buck.

Update: Potential GOP Presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee found a clever way to blame gay marriage for increasing the deficit:

Nonetheless, Huckabee opposes gay marriage on the grounds that, according to him, it destroys traditional families.  “There is a quantified impact of broken families,” Huckabee said. “[There is a] $300 billion dad deficit in America every year…that’s the amount of money that we spend as taxpayers to pick up the pieces because dads are derelict in their duties.”

If you don’t like it, you gotta ban it?

Rob Tisinai

February 19th, 2011

NOM is trumpeting a new Maryland poll about same-sex marriage:

By a 54-37 margin, Maryland voters believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, according to a new poll released today by Lawrence Research.

And here’s the question they asked:

As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman, or should it also be available to same-sex couples.

Emphasis added, for one simple reason: This is not an either/or question!

People could say, without contradicting themselves:

Yes, I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, and yes, it should also be available to same-sex couples.

Just as they could say:

I believe everyone should abstain from alcohol, and I think it should be available to adults.


I believe birth control is wrong, and I think people should have the option of deciding that for themselves.

So much for Live and let live.  So much for letting people make their own decisions. So much for any conception of liberty.  If, “as far as you personally are concerned,” you disapprove of something, it never occurs to NOM that your respect for freedom might keep you from trying to control your neighbor’s life.

Nope, according to NOM, if you think something is wrong, then you want impose that belief on everyone.

This attitude pops up again and again.  Remember Miss America contestant Carrie Prejean?

Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.

Taken literally, she’s offering support for marriage equality even as she expresses her personal belief that it’s wrong. That’s not what she intended, but it’s what she said, without even realizing it.

Obama’s just as guilty:

I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.

If he’s offering this to explain why he opposes legalizing same-sex marriage, he’s failed.  He can believe exactly what he said and still support marriage equality.

I suppose, then, it’s not fair to single out NOM for this. They’re just the latest perpetrators.

My hunch is that NOM is so blind to their own assumptions, they didn’t even realize they weren’t asking an either/or question.  Another possibility, though, is that they knew exactly what they were doing.

Look at the opening phrase: As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman…

It’s almost as if they added “As far as you personally are concerned” as a deliberate attempt to distract people from the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage.  As if NOM knew the wording would let them dishonestly claim for their own side those respondents with a live-and-let-live attitude, those who think it should be legal despite their own personal disapproval.

As if they knew they could then distort these results to understate Maryland’s support for legal equality.

So which is it? A careless mistake or a conscious manipulation of the question?  I bet the answer depends on whose mind you’re looking into:  that of Maggie Gallagher (a canny operator) or Brian Brown (a blundering bull).

Ultimately, I see one lesson take away from this. We need to add another weapon to our rhetorical arsenal this one for people who are more comfortable with liberty than with homosexuality:

You can disapprove of something and still think it should be legal!

Maggie Gallagher opposes anal sex

Timothy Kincaid

January 28th, 2011

“Defenders of traditional marriage” like to pretend that their objections to marriage equality are based in procreation or what’s best for children or religious freedom or culture or something, anything, other that bias, animus, or a desire to harm gay people. But sometimes their real motivates leak through the front they present to the world.

Take, for example, this portion of an essay by the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher:

Anal sex is painful, unsanitary, unsatisfying for women, and creates unique risks for serious physical diseases (if you doubt me, go read the Wikipedia entry on the subject) because the anus is not designed for sexual intercourse, increasing the risk of torn flesh and the intermingling of bodily fluids — blood, semen, fecal matter — that can spread an astonishing variety of diseases. The female partner is far more at risk than the man in these encounters. This should be a feminist issue.

Now, of course, Maggie is directing this rant to women. So it has nothing, no nothing at all, nope not whatsoever, to do with her views about homosexuality. And as some gay men don’t engage in anal sex and few lesbians as well, well then obviously this say nothing, no nothing at all, about Maggie’s perspectives of gay people in general. Right?

Except that Maggie isn’t just condemning heterosexual anal sex. In fact, that isn’t her target at all.

In the minds of anti-gay activists and others to whom Maggie directs her essays, homosexuality is inextricably linked with anal sex (lesbians exist as an after-thought). When a preacher rants, “it’s not natural,” and you know he’s thinking anal sex. Hear a politician declare, “that’s not how the body was created,” and it’s anal sex he’s discussion. See an erudite talking head with crisply parted hair and wire-frame glasses espousing his views on “complimentarity” and guess what he means? Anal sex.

So when Maggie attacks anal sex with imagery of “torn flesh” and blood and fecal matter and “astonishing variety of diseases,” it really isn’t about young women at all. Sure, she’d rather they engage only in vaginal intercourse with their lawfully married husband, but that isn’t her point. Rather, Maggie sees this as “dirty” and “icky” and, let’s be real, a homosexual practice that godly heterosexuals should have nothing to do with.

Maggie is generally pretty good at hiding her personal contempt for gay people. But sometimes, like this time, it seeps around the edges.

Reinhardt to NOMmies: women have their own minds

Timothy Kincaid

January 5th, 2011

The National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher was not happy when Justice Reinhardt was selected as part of the panel to hear the Perry v. Schwarzenegger appeal. She insisted that he recuse himself because his wife, Ramona Ripston, heads the ACLU in Southern California and supports marriage equality:

The entity that Ripston heads took part as counsel to an amicus in this very case in the district court.
According to media reports including those in the Los Angeles Times and respected legal blog, Reinhardt has a policy of recusing himself from cases involving the ACLU of Southern California.

In addition to the clear legal reasons that Judge Reinhardt is required to disqualify himself from this case, there are other circumstances that clearly call his impartiality into question:

· Ripston, Reinhardt’s wife, contributed money to the NO on Proposition 8 campaign. It is not known if these funds were joint or separate funds.
· Ripston publicly cheered the decision by the District Court to declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional. In a media statement, she said, “We rejoice at today’s decision but there’s a long road ahead toward establishing true marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

Reinhardt declined. And yesterday he clarified his reasoning:

My wife’s views, public or private, as to any issues that may come before this court, constitutional or otherwise, are of no consequence. She is a strong, independent woman who has long fought for the principle, among others, that women should be evaluated on their own merits and not judged in any way by the deeds or position in life of their husbands (and vice versa). I share that view and, in my opinion, it reflects the status of the law generally, as well as the law of recusal, regardless of whether the spouse or the judge is the male or the female.

Gosh, I guess the Little Lady has views of her own.

Naturally, conservatives like Ed Whelan don’t find Reinhardt’s explanations to be adequate. For me, I’ll wait until the case reaches the Supreme Court to judge the integrity of Whelan’s complaint. Should he demand that Scalia recuse himself due to his son’s advocacy on this issue then I’ll believe that Whelan is a man of integrity; otherwise this is but more results-driven posturing masquerading as principle.

The ever klassy Maggie Gallagher

Timothy Kincaid

September 30th, 2010

In the worldview of the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher, those who side with equality do not do so out of principle or a sense of decency or even from the clear “any person” language of the Constitution. Nope. Those who disagree with Maggie have ulterior motives.

Here’s how Maggie intuited the reasons for Judge Walker’s announced retirement from the court

Kathryn, I didn’t expect it either, but it kind of explains a lot, doesn’t it? How could Judge Walker exhibit such gross bias and deliver such an injudicious opinion? The answer appears to be, in part, that it was his swan song. He’ll leave the bench famous, a hero in his hometown, and a hot commodity in whatever private venture he moves into.

Oh she’s a klassy act, that Maggie. Klassy as hot pink stretch pants at a funeral.

NOM blatantly appeals to homophobia

Timothy Kincaid

August 30th, 2010

The National Organization for Marriage has now officially become part of the wackadoodle extremist end of the anti-gay religious right. While Maggie Gallagher was officially at the helm, they managed to carry a pretense of civility and wore the mask of being issue driven rather than just acting out of animus and contempt.

But now that Brian Brown is the name on the masthead, the mask has come off. NOM no longer pretends to be civil, but instead now is openly using the tactics and language of those who seek not just to “protect traditional marriage” but to demonize gay people themselves and stir up hatred towards them.

No longer content with scare tactics such as “Mommy, I can grow up to marry a princess”, NOM is now spreading fear about radical homosexual activists and putting “gay marriage” in scare quotes. NOM has now become indistinguishable from Peter LaBarbera or Brain Camenker or Eugene Delguadio.

When the District of Columbia voted for marriage equality, NOM has become infuriated. And so they have involved themselves in the Washington DC councilman race.

Ward 5 Councilman Harry Thomas voted for marriage equality in the nation’s capital, so NOM has declared him to be an enemy and has funded a mailer for his opponent, Delano Hunter. It is as disgusting a piece of blatant nastiness as one would expect to find coming from MassResistance or the Traditional Values Coalition:

Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter become he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes “gay marriage.”

Radical, gay marriage activists are flooding Ward 5 with money to defeat Delano Hunter, not because they don’t like his plan to improve our community, but only because the supports the Biblical definition of marriage.

The outside gay activists don’t care about our right to home rule and right to vote on gay marriage. They only care about their agenda to redefine marriage. Don’t let them target Delano Hunter.

There is, of course, no explanation of why the Sister is in the picture. We don’t need one; we know exactly why that picture was selected. The Sisters are “scary” and for those who don’t know better she makes a good illustration of just what a radical homosexual looks like.

And, of course, since it’s NOM, the claim is a complete lie. Not a cent has been given to Thomas from “militant gay activists” in San Francisco or New York.

NOM’s Maggie Gallagher loves nothing more than to complain that mean gay marriage supporters are calling her names. “They call us bigots,” she whines at every opportunity.

At BTB we seldom engage in slinging slurs like “bigot” or “homophobe” or “liar” at those who oppose our equality. It serves no purpose and tends to shut down any possible hope for dialogue. And the truth is that most of those who don’t favor equality actually aren’t motivated by hatred or animus. Prejudice, presumption, and apathy are probably more to blame.

But while I am not calling Brian or Maggie names or accusing them of being bigots or homophobes, this particular mailer seeks to do nothing other than to appeal to hatred and fear. This mailer is, without question, bigoted and homophobic.

Ten Dumbest Things Maggie Gallagher Said

Jim Burroway

August 17th, 2010

Matt Stopera collected these over at BuzzFeed. Another personal favorite is number 10:

Democratic forms of government are vulnerable to mass prejudice, the so-called tyranny of the majority.

But, of course, #1 is a real doozy.

[Hat tip: Chris Bodenner]

Maggie finds Judge Walker’s orientation relevant, not necessarily relevant, could be relevant, not totally irrelevant

Timothy Kincaid

August 11th, 2010

When Maggie Gallagher is around her buddies it’s easy to just say that Judge Walker is gay and everyone knows what that means. When you all share the same opinion that gay people and gay relationships are inferior and when you all think of gay people as “the other side” then you don’t need to explain yourself.

Oh, but listen to her try to explain that comment to Tour Tracker’s Arisha Hatch

YouTube Preview Image

She also seems to have read a ruling other than the one released by Judge Walker. Nothing new, nothing non-Maggie.

But then she said: “The way to get a totally neutral status is to just get the government out of the marriage business” before immediately reverting to her talking points.

What’s this? Is this Maggie’s next approach? “If we have to be equal then no one should get married!!”

LaBarbera Award: Maggie Gallagher

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

It’s official. Maggie Gallagher had spent several years trying to cultivate an image of a well-informed and reasonable pundit with her Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. But founding the National Organization for Marriage, Gallagher has become among the more hysterical voices against LGBT people. And as we noted earlier today, she is now in full meltdown mode over the recent Federal Court decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional. More evidence of her unhingedness comes this op-ed in tomorrow’s San Francisco Chronicle:

If this ruling is upheld, millions of Americans will face for the first time a legal system that is committed to the view that our deeply held moral views on sex and marriage are unacceptable in the public square, the fruit of bigotry that should be discredited, stigmatized and repressed. Parents will find that, almost Soviet-style, their own children will be re-educated using their own tax dollars to disrespect their parents’ views and values.

That’s right: today marriage equality, tomorrow Soviet-style education camps.

Say, didn’t we just read something just yesterday about bogus threats to children?

Schadenfreude Alert, Part 2: NOM Is Apoplectic

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

 Brian Brown’s and Maggie Gallagher’s heads explode:

“Big surprise! We expected nothing different from Judge Vaughn Walker, after the biased way he conducted this trial,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. “With a stroke of his pen, Judge Walker has overruled the votes and values of 7 million Californians who voted for marriage as one man and one woman. This ruling, if allowed to stand, threatens not only Prop 8 in California but the laws in 45 other states that define marriage as one man and one woman.”

“Never in the history of America has a federal judge ruled that there is a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. The reason for this is simple – there isn’t!” added Brown.

“The ‘trial’ in San Francisco in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is a unique, and disturbing, episode in American jurisprudence. Here we have an openly gay (according to the San Francisco Chronicle) federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in our Constitution. We call on the Supreme Court and Congress to protect the people’s right to vote for marriage,” stated Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board of NOM.

A Question for Maggie Gallagher

Jim Burroway

July 30th, 2010

Four days have passed since the infamous “kill the gays” sign appeared at NOM’s Indianapolis rally. And four days of silence on the sign from NOM. Instead, they’ve been complaining that NOM are the victims — that’s right, victims! – of the mean old gays.

The sign quotes Leviticus. Rob Tisinai points out that NOM President Maggie Gallagher has defended others who has cited the Levitical death penalty for gay men. So now is the time for a direct question to Maggie Gallagher. Leviticus 20:13 says:

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Maggie, do you or do you not agree with this statement?

[Graphic by Rob Tisinai]

Nom tours a mostly-empty plaza in Indianapolis

Timothy Kincaid

July 26th, 2010

The National Organization for Marriage rolled into Indianapolis on their Summer for Marriage Tour and the welcome was decidedly underwhelming. As has been the case in most of the stops on their Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas, the crowd was sparse and the counterprotest had more size, creativity, and energy.

The Courage Campaign’s Tour Tracker posted tentative preliminary attendance at the start of about 29 (though this picture shows more) and the protest at about 95. If we see updates, we’ll let you know.

It seems that equality supporters stayed back in their designated area and chanted. In one of the strangest comments so far, NOM’s Maggie Gallagher said “… not even the noisiest protests could drown out the voice and values of Indiana’s majority.” Because having no one show up means that you speak for the majority, I guess.

Maggie spent much of her time in town speaking to politicians. I hope they glanced out the window and saw how truly ineffective and uninspiring that she and NOM really are.

I believe at some point today we will have first hand comments and pictures from a regular BTB reader.

NOM speaks to another mostly-empty city plaza

Timothy Kincaid

July 23rd, 2010

Continuing to demonstrate itself to be the NOM Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas, the National Organization for Marriage’s tour stop in Columbus, Ohio, was surprisingly poorly attended.

As they moved out of the northeast and into more conservative Ohio, it was assumed that NOM’s rallies would begin to pick up attendance. They even brought out Maggie Gallagher, their big media star, to speak to the crowd at the State House south lawn. But the crowd didn’t show up.

The Tour Tracker reports that the NOMbies at the peak were about 30 and that protesters numbered about 120. Of course, NOM will report 60 supporters because it appears that their counting method is to simply multiply by two (the 19 or so in Annapolis became “about 50 supporters in attendance”).

In Columbus, police set up barricades behind which protesters were required to stand. The protesters chanted and blew whistles. While that is annoying to the speakers, I’m not sure exactly what it accomplished. There’s nothing really wrong with the “hey hey ho ho” chants, but I think it would be more effective to sing We Shall Overcome. Or really annoy NOM and get a few powerful tenors to belt out Ave Maria.

But for the most part they didn’t engage in Shocking! and Outlandish! behavior that would frighten the horses (and yes, there were horses; the police were mounted.) One young lady crossed the line and was reportedly confrontational towards the people attending the NOM rally before being arrested. That was unfortunate and if NOM got any pictures or video of her, she will undoubtedly be the star of their next “I’m a victim” video.

The protest was by far the most interesting part of NOM’s event – even to NOM. Their website has no pictures of their own crowd, deciding instead to post one of the marriage supporters.

One odd thing: Brian Brown was missing from the festivities, and rumor is that he flew to California. No one seems to know why. Maybe he was too bored and depressed from no one showing up to hear him speak.

UPDATE: Here are the two sides of the story about the young lady who was arrested:

NOM’s version:

One woman, before she was escorted out of the rally by police, went through the crowd offering her hand to NOM supporters before ripping it away and cursing in their faces.

Maggie Gallagher’s version:

The protestors seemed a pretty angry lot, but mostly respected the line. (The Ohio cops were going to make sure of that!) One woman tried to incite folks to storm the podium again, but the police made that seem like a pretty bad idea.

I love cops.

Holly Hahn’s version:

This is what happened. I accidentally wandered into the NOM side of the protest. Seeing some opportunity for amusement, I wandered around inside the barricades shaking hands and introducing my self as a homosexual. One older man got upset and grabbed me and tried to wrestle me away, the cops told me to go behind the barricade and i did. Then the cops told me to leave and I refused. They dragged me away, cuffed and charged me with disorderly conduct and obstructing. I cooperated once arrested. I need ANY AND ALL pics and videos, to prove I was shaking hands, not “grabbing arms” please repost!

To clarify” I parked in the parking garage and was unsure which side of the statehouse I need to be. There were NO barricades the way I entered. I didn’t actually realize I was in NOM territory until I noticed the logo on the podium.

p.s absolutely nothing happened to the old man who grappled with me, but i think they recorded me cussing at him to GTFO me, unfortunately. I am truly sorry if my um..unrestrained comments while being assaulted are used in a way that is detrimental to the cause. The fact is I am woman, 5’0 and there was a man grabbing and grappling with me and police yelling at me. I was scared and angry.

p.p.sYes, It wasn’t premeditated. I have done many many protests and actions over the years, but really this time I just wandered into the wrong side and decided to run with it. I can’t let anyone go through their life saying they haven’t met a queer. It’s kind of my policy. So I started shaking hands.
Putting myself in the public eye doesn’t scare me a bit. I am who I am.
I refuse to be afraid and unlike the anonymous donors to Prop 8 and other hate legislation, I am true enough to my beliefs to put my real name on them.
My name is Holly Hahn. I am a lesbian. I am not scared of police, social disapproval or bigots stalking me.
I believe that the time for Mr/s Nice Gay is over. I’m tired of endless attacks against our lives. I don’t want them to feel safe behind the barricade- why should they get the privilege of feeling safe when their words or hate make our brothers and sisters UNsafe?
I will cross barricades again, and I am hoping to organize a courthouse sit in on my court date


I bring you two messages from the National Organization for Marriage. The first is from Maggie Gallagher:

My message to the protestors: Hate is not a family value. The 62 percent of Ohioans who came together across lines of race, creed and color to vote for marriage are not haters, and it’s wrong to portray them, or the American people that way.

The second I bring from NOM’s Facebook page. The site is heavily edited by NOM’s associates and only the messages that the administrators want there remain. What follows is the comments to this post. (I left nothing out so as not to appear to be cherry picking the worst)

Daniel Rowinski: ugh i find out my city of Cleveland will host the gay games of 2014.

Theresa Preece: The Gay Games?

John Ozanich: Gay Olympics

Theresa Preece: Yes, I know. SO many comments….

Danielle Burke
: That is extremely disappointing :(

John Ozanich: all about money

Tara J Later: Oh, now that is beyond funny. The thing that comes to mind is the javelin throw on the movie ” Revenge of the Nerds”. Let’s get the aerodinamics right. I’m rotfl, big time.

Minister Dixon: ‎”The Gay Games?” Yeah, now I’ve heard everything. How are Gay Games different from other games?

John Acker: Do the males (they are anything but men) compete in accessorizing and lisping?

John Ozanich: you ever see Jesse Owens do a 500 yard sprint wearing a feathered pink boa ?

Tara J Later: @ Min. Dixon….I think I have the answer to that question. The uniforms are tighter and shorter, to make sure they show every part of the body as much as possible. That’s the difference. And the uniforms will be flaming loud.

Minister Dixon: John do you want my turkey sandwich to come back up? LOL

Minister Dixon: @ Tara, if it’s anything like their parades, you may have a point there :)

Tara J Later: I do have to admit, that everyone of my homosexual friends have great taste in style… Only one is on the loud side, but none of them want marriage. It’s quite interesting that they aren’t on the band wagon.

Nick Jones: Do these games consist of slapping fights, sex in public and who can say ‘hey’ the gayest?

Nick Jones: Do these games consist of slapping fights, sex in public and seeing who can say ‘hay’ the gayest?

John Ozanich: no, that’s Congress, Nick…

Minister Dixon: LOL, hey John, you’re not well, hahaha

And now my message to the Maggie: Hate is not a family value. It is true that not all of the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted to deny equality to their gay neighbors are haters, but many of the people who support the National Organization for Marriage and who participate at your Facebook page are.

NOM goes completely wackadoodle

Timothy Kincaid

July 13th, 2010

In the grand spectrum of anti-gay activism that ranges from relatively respectful disagreement through nasty and spiteful on its way to ragingly hateful and on to bizarre and downright insane, Maggie Gallagher and her National Organization for Marriage have managed to retain the appearance of being rational and principled. While their intentions were hostile and based in animus and the presumption of superiority, their rhetoric was more mainstream and avoided trips into the realm of paranoia, villainizing, or blatant hatred.

Until recently.

But increasing Maggie has been losing it, demonstrating an increasingly bitter and hostile persona and saying things that she never would have just a year or so ago.

And things have changed for NOM, as well. No longer behaving like a marriage advocate, NOM now seems to have morphed in to a radical anti-gay activist group with views and opinions similar to those of Peter LaBarbera or Brian Camenker. The new NOM doesn’t love heterosexual marriage anywhere near as much as they dislike gay people in general.

A few weeks ago we let you know about NOM’s merging with an anti-gay extremist group, One Man, One Woman, headed by Louis J. Marinelli. Although at first it seemed that NOM was trying to downplay their affiliation, this tactic has been abandoned and Marinelli’s facebook site is now at least semi-officially the voice of the National Organization for Marriage.

And a nasty voice it is, indeed.

Language about “the best interests of children” has been replaced with ranting about “the homosexual agenda” and posts about how violent gay people are. And Jeremy at Good_As_You has extensively documented Marinelli’s extremism from trying to equate gay people to pedophiles and prostitutes to repeating the old Paul Cameron lies.

Yes, NOM has decided it’s time to attach its bus to the wackadoodle train… and I marvel at that decision. Frankly, I thought Maggie was smarter than that.

NOM Is Furious — Just Furious!

Jim Burroway

July 8th, 2010

Reading this press release from the National Organization for Marriage made my spit my beer through my nose:

“Under the guidance of Elena Kagan’s brief that she filed when she was Solicitor General, Obama’s justice department deliberately sabotaged this case,” charged Brian Brown, President of NOM, referring to the Justice Department’s brief which described DOMA as discriminatory. Despite the explicit language in DOMA that the law was designed to protect children’s right to their mothers and fathers, the judge disavowed that DOMA has anything to do with responsible procreation. “With only Obama to defend DOMA, this federal judge has taken the extraordinary step of overturning a law passed by huge bipartisan majorities and signed into law by Pres. Clinton in 1996. A single federal judge in Boston has no moral right to decide the definition of marriage for the people of the United States,” Brown continued.

“Does this federal judge want to start another culture war?” asked Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM. “Does he really want another Roe. v. Wade? The simple fact is that the right of the federal government to define marriage for the purposes of its federal law and federal territories has been clear since the late 19th century, when Congress banned polygamy. Only an incompetent defense could have lost this case. We expect to win in a higher court.”

NOM joins forces with virulently vile anti-gay activist

Timothy Kincaid

June 28th, 2010

It seems that the National Organization of Marriage has been gradually slipping off message. Long pretending that “we don’t hate homosexuals”, NOM tried to keep up the image that they were just opposed to same-sex marriage (for the children, you know). But it seems that Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown have found the effort of appearing pleasant to be daunting (or perhaps less financially fulfilling) because recent comments seem to be veering closer and closer to plain old anti-gay animus and playground meanness.

Now Jeremy at Good_As_You has (along with blogger Matt Algren) identified an affiliation between NOM and their new strategist, anti-gay activist Louis J. Marinelli III. The language and claims of Mr. Marinelli bring NOM into a whole new category. Here are a few of the tweets that Marinelli has recently made on NOM’s behalf.

Those who wish to promote homosexual behaviour are encouraging people to shorten their life spans. Homosexuality is not a healthy lifestyle.

(We debunked the “shorten lives” claim)

#nevertrust activists of the homosexual agenda – they are deceitful people who care only about themselves and not what’s best for society!

It is clear that Maggie and Brian have decided to link their organization to the most radical and extreme segments of the anti-gay movement. They are now taking on the tone of spiteful slurs and villification of the gay community.

But really, is it all that surprising?

When someone dedicates their life to fighting against your rights, freedom, liberty and equality, it isn’t out of love. It just isn’t

Maggie predicts that she’ll lose Perry

Timothy Kincaid

June 17th, 2010

Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for [gay-free] Marriage has posted her expectations based on the closing statement in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Chuck Cooper is a heckuva lawyer. At stake in this case is the future of marriage in all 50 states, and he’s right that this attempt to shut down the debate by constitutionalizing gay marriage will backfire. Americans have a right to vote for marriage. Ted Olson doesn’t seem to understand the argument, and judging from today’s exchanges neither does Judge Walker. I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8. But millions of Americans do understand why marriage is the union of husband and wife and I believe the majority of the Supreme Court will as well.

I both agree and disagree.

Yes, Chuck Cooper is a heckova lawyer. In exactly the same way that Brownie did a heckova a job cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina. And I agree that after Cooper’s self-contradictory, confusing, and irrational argument in support of Proposition 8, no one understood his argument.

And while Maggie’s beliefs about what the Supreme Court will do have no greater validity than her beliefs about the definition of marriage (I have no presumption how they will decide), I do agree with her that it is likely that Judge Walker will find Proposition 8 to be in violation of the US Constitution.

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