NOM’s Brian Brown Joins International Anti-Gay Organization
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 Lively—one 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
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.
NOM has no love for Christie
October 21st, 2013
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today sharply criticized the courts of New Jersey for orchestrating the redefinition of marriage, and also criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for withdrawing an appeal of the court ruling imposing same-sex marriage and thus abandoning the right of voters to determine the definition of marriage. NOM pledged to continue to fight for the right of New Jerseyans to define marriage, and suggested that Christie’s decision will end any chance of him winning the GOP nomination for president.
“…and thus abandoning the right of voters to determine the definition of marriage.” Huh?
I think NOM has now completely given up any pretense at making sense and is now just throwing up catch words and phrases in the hopes of stimulating emotions.
Bad news for Lonegan
October 10th, 2013
Today brings some very bad news for former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, who is running as the Republican candidate for US Senate in New Jersey’s special election next week.
No, it’s not that he’s 12 points behind Newark Mayor Corey Booker (D). Actually Lonegan’s been whittling away at what was once a large advantage for Booker.
It’s not that New Jersey is a blue state in registration and state representative. After all Chris Christie is trampling all over his Democratic opponent.
No, today’s bad new is that the National Organization for Marriage is gloriously declaring that Lonegan can win. And they are throwing their support behind him. (NOMblog)
I’m talking about the US Senate special election in New Jersey next week. Marriage, life, and family values are on the ballot in New Jersey one week from yesterday on October 16th — and every marriage champion across the country can play a part to make sure those values come out on top.
Next Wednesday voters in New Jersey need to make a special effort to get out and vote for the only US Senate candidate who will protect and promote marriage, life, and family on the national stage — Steve Lonegan.
…All the polls show that momentum is with Lonegan, meaning by this time next week it could well be a dead heat.
What will push Steve — and marriage, life, and family — over the top?
Well, I suppose that something could. It’s possible, of course.
But we all know what happens when NOM gets behind your campaign.
NOM quotes Laurie Higgins; claims it’s Chicago Tribune
October 8th, 2013
Once a voice for those who opposed marriage equality in a somewhat civil tone, the National Organization for Marriage is racing down the fast lane towards anti-gay extremism. In the past few months, as it has became unavoidable clear that equality is the near future, NOM has abandoned all pretense of principled opposition on the issue of marriage and has been edging towards becoming just another of the shrill voices screaming about the homosexual agenda and ranting about what the evil radical homosexual lobby is trying to do to destroy America and harm Christians (as they define them).
Today is another example: (NOMblog)
Same-sex ‘marriage’ radicals are at it again… the latest example comes from Chicago.
In what the Chicago Tribune rightly called “a stunning public admission” openly homosexual Democratic State Representative Greg Harris of Chicago, outright admitted in a public debate that the proposed law in Illinois redefining marriage did NOT provide religious liberty or conscience protections for individual Christian business owners.
The article continued, saying that “it was clear that both he and homosexual Chicago Alderman Deb Mell (a former state representative and co-sponsor of SB 10) oppose any such protections.” (emphasis added).
That seemed odd to me, as the Trib hasn’t referred to someone as “homosexual Chicago Alderman” since the 90′s. This is the rhetoric not of reporters or even editorial boards, but of anti-gay activists. So I did a little searching and, sure enough, this didn’t come from the Chicago Tribune’s reporters or editorial staff at all.
It came from Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, one of only 34 groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-gay group (a “hate group”). And that “stunning public admission”, yeah that was only Laurie being “stunned”.
Now most of us can pretty easily distinguish between raging bias-based ranting and news coverage. But it is becoming increasingly evident that Brian Brown and others at the National Organization for Marriage live in a world where anti-gay epithets and paranoid raging against gay Americans seems normal and ordinary.
“…the majority of Americans believe…”
September 24th, 2013
It baffles me. Today from the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours):
I’ve written to you about it before… the IRS… the courts… government bureaucrats… state human rights commissions… election boards… these are the preferred vehicles (along with complicit state attorneys general and activist judges) that the far left is using to circumvent the will of voters — “We the People” — and impose their radical agenda on you and me.
Why? Because gay ‘marriage’ activists know that the majority of Americans believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman! The majority will never go along with their radical social experiment.
First, yes I’ve noticed (as you likely have) that NOM is now going full tilt anti-gay, not just genteelly opposed to same-sex marriage. This includes not only taking up non-marriage related issues, but also ratcheting up the adjectives (militant, radical, etc.) and ranting against “the homosexual lifestyle”. It is, I believe, an indication of their desperation and increasing irrelevancy.
But still I just don’t understand their wacky insistence that they are in the majority, that Americans are opposed to same-sex marriage. Poll after poll after poll all say the same thing: a majority of Americans already believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. It’s a steady majority, and is trending towards additional support.
Now I get the idea of spin, making a claim that could kinda-sorta be seen to be true (if you squint) in hopes of driving public opinion. And NOM can fall back on the idea that when given three options (marriage, civil unions, and nothing at all) polls still show that less than a majority opts for marriage (while ignoring the fact that their “nothing at all” position is favored least of all). Or they can cling to Fox News polls (which show a statistical tie) or other outliers.
But it’s mind-numbingly absurd to make the sort of “never go along with” statement that they assert.
Surely they are aware that their potential supporters own television sets and that polls supporting equality tend to be big-news items. Marriage opponents have children and grandchildren and must be aware that their views are not reflected by the next generations. Does NOM have so little respect for their audience?
This does not bode well for NOM’s future. Eventually, even Aunt Thelma comes to the realization, “ya know, I support traditional marriage just like the Bible says and I believe kids these days are taking us on the road to perdition. But these NOM people think I’m an idiot!”
Tony Perkins joins NOM’s big dump
September 12th, 2013
Back in July 2012, the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) decided that they would boycott General Mills due to its opposition to an anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota. They asked for concerned Americans to pledge to “look for substitutes” to General Mills products.
NOM held a publicity event and the American Family Association pushed the project on their “news” network, and immediately Dump General Mills got 14,000, then 18,000 and then as many as a stunning 23,054 by mid July. And we stopped counting at that point.
But now that more than a year has passed, they’re back in the news. Now Tony Perkins has become a part of NOM’s big dump. (FRC)
At Betty Crocker, the only thing they’re mixing up is their priorities. Hi, I’m Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. If you ask conservatives, Betty Crocker’s latest promotion is a recipe for disaster. This summer, the famous dessert line decided to jump on the same-sex “marriage” bandwagon-and bring cakes to celebrate. In Minnesota, where parent company General Mills is headquartered, Betty Crocker decided to donate wedding cakes to the first homosexual couples who exchanged vows on the first day that counterfeit marriage was legal. “Betty celebrates all families,” said manager Laura Forero. “We don’t want to be old fashioned,” the company explained. Unfortunately for General Mills, the majority of Americans think natural marriage is anything but old fashioned. And they’ve made it tough on companies like Target, Starbucks, and JC Penney who disagree. Know where your money is going. When you’re at the store, think outside the Betty Crocker box! For a full list of products that are undermining marriage, check out DumpGeneralMills.com.
With Perkins’ tremendous influence over the nation’s cereal buying habits, the Big Dump is likely to heap high. But so as to truly measure Tony’s impact, let’s see where they are today.
Clearly NOM has really made a push, because since last year they’ve added 3,393 names to the pile, for a staggering total of 26,447. Numbers like that strain the imagination. Why, that’s nearly a quarter of the population of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. It’s more than half the number of people in the US who bought a Yugo in 1987. It’s astonishing that General Mills does not quake at the notion that one-fortieth of a million people have pledged to see if their grocery store has a bargain-brand substitute for their usual purchases.
But undoubtedly, now that Tony’s on board, he will really make a difference. With his help, I’m sure NOM will be able so squeeze out support that will make NOM’s Big Dump truly colossal, perhaps record breaking. Look out, General Mills, because with Perkins’ help, NOM with be able to really apply pressure.
We will, of course, let you know how it all comes out.
Good news for Australia
September 12th, 2013
Supporters of marriage equality in Australia may be a bit down after last week’s election put Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott into power (in Australia, the Liberal Party is the more conservative of the two largest parties). While Labor leader
Paul Kevin Rudd had promised to hold a vote on marriage equality within 100 days if reelected, Abbott has been a staunch opponent of equality under the law.
But there is good news. A positive omen. A promise of better times.
Because on their NOMblog, Brian Brown from the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) has this to say:
“Sank Like a Stone” — that’s how same-sex marriage faired (sic) in Australia this past week.
Australia held elections for Prime Minister the other day, but it was as much a referendum on whether the Aussies would redefine marriage or not. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd nailed his hopes of winning to a promise of introducing legislation to redefine marriage within the first 100 days of returning to office.
As was reported, the pro-marriage platform of the former Prime Minister “sank beneath the waves” of the pro-marriage majority down under.
You may remember I had traveled to Australia in August for the World Congress of Families, and I could not be happier for the friends I made on that trip and our pro-marriage and family allies there.
It’s a great victory for marriage, and a win worth celebrating across the globe. It also serves as a reminder that when people are given the right to vote on marriage, they invariably vote to preserve the true and intrinsic nature of marriage as an institution binding one man to one woman for life in order to love and care for one another and for any children born of their union.
To cement this great victory, the people of Australia should insist on the right to a national referendum to preserve marriage. That’s the best way to capitalize on the momentum of the victory, and only an amendment will protect marriage from the unceasing efforts of gay-’marriage’ activists and the politicians who rely on them for support. It’s the only way to ensure that the people — and not politicians or judges — control the definition of marriage in Australia.
Okay, let’s ignore for a moment the fact that the election was most certainly not a referendum on marriage, with 57% of voters saying that the candidates’ positions on marriage were “not important at all” to their vote. And let’s not giggle too loudly about NOM’s call for a public referendum on an issue which has the support of two-thirds of voters. Instead let’s look at what this means on a grand cosmic scale.
When NOM starts gloating, something magical happens. It’s an omen more accurate than pig entrails, astrological forecasts, and Pat Robertson’s Hurricane Watch combined. When NOM is on your side, you are certain to lose.
Look at Maine and Minnesota in November. Look at the New York elections this week. Look at France!!
Ah yes, NOM is joyous. And this is good news indeed.
A rapturous day in NOMville
July 22nd, 2013
So declares the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) on their NOMblog site. Due to NOM, and their vast army of members (several dozen, at least), the House of Representatives is quickly surging forward to support the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment introduced by Rep. Tim Huelskamp.
A few weeks ago when I wrote to you urging you to contact your federal legislators urging them to support the Marriage Protection Amendment introduced by Rep. Tim Huelskamp, you were quick to respond. Well, now I can write to you to tell you that when you spoke up, your elected leaders listened!
The proposed amendment now has over 40 cosponsors signed on! [emphasis in the original]
Oh rapturous day!! Forty cosponsors!! And in just three weeks!!!
Now only 250 more Representatives to go to get the needed vote. And then on to the Senate where there are neither sponsors nor supporters. But surely once NOM’s mighty army marches forth they’ll fall into place.
NOM’s Thomas Peters Critically Injured (Updated)
July 17th, 2013
Catholic Vote has confirmed the numerous tweets saying that National Organization for Marriage’s Thomas Peters was seriously injured in a
car accident. According to Catholic Vote, Peters “sustained major injuries. He is awake, responsive, and in stable but critical condition.” Elizabeth Scalia, who writes for several conservative Catholic publications (and who is not related to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia), tweeted that Peters neck was broken. There’s been no word from NOM yet.
Peters is NOM’s Director of Communications and resident young-guy-who-opposes-marriage-equality, vociferously. His father, Edward Peters, is a well-known Catholic canon lawyer and professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
I’ll echo what Rob Tisinai said. Culture wars are brutal things, but matters of life and death occupy a much higher plane of human concern. We all hope and pray for Peters’s epiphany on the central questions surrounding our families. More so, we hope and pray for his speedy recovery so that epiphany can occur. But in any case, whether that epiphany will ever occur or not, we hope and pray for his speedy recovery.
Update: Peters’s father, Edward Peters, has posted the following information on Facebook:
Okay, I am sorry, but here’s some news.
Thomas Peters was seriously hurt in a swimming accident Tuesday evening. He fractured his 5th cervical vert. and is at Univ. Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). Natalie Zmuda Peters is there, and the moms Angela & Becky Z flew out a couple hours ago. He moved an arm on command and is undergoing more tests. He has responded pretty well to the immediate steps taken for him so far. I will stay in touch here. Your prayers and well wishes are deeply appreciated.
Natalie Zmuda Peters is Thomas’s wife. A further update:
Thom can move his arms, docs are discussing the best treatment for his neck injury. Immediate concern is for the considerable water in his lungs. We are astounded at the expressions of prayers and support. Thom & Nat know about it. Please keep them up. Love from us all, EdP.
Best Wishes and Hopes for Thomas Peters
July 17th, 2013
NOM’s communications director Thomas Peters has been in a serious accident:
Thomas was involved in an accident yesterday evening and has sustained major injuries. He is awake, responsive, and in stable but critical condition. Family and friends are with him.
I’ve tangled with him before and have been sharply critical of him, but today I wish him my best and send him all my hopes for a full and speedy recovery.
Glorious victory in NOMian reality
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.
A Most Perfect Description
July 11th, 2013
Yesterday someone messaged me a most perfect description of our opponents.
He and I had been tangling with NOM’s Jennifer Roback Morse on an anti-gay website, pointing out the error of using a tragic case of child abuse as an argument against same-sex marriage. Morse, on her Facebook page, claimed we were defending the abusers — “a couple of pro-gay guys circling the wagons around these creeps,” is how she put it.
It’s enough to make you wonder where she learned to read. I alerted my compatriot and he wrote back this description of Morse and her allies on that site:
Mostly they just talk to each other and, essentially, engage in a conspiracy to take each other seriously.
Read that again, just for the pleasure of it:
…engage in a conspiracy to take each other seriously.
I say that’s a perfect phrase.
It’s fluid, looks good on the page, trips off the tongue, and rewards you with deeper insight the longer you contemplate it. I’m holding on to it, and whenever I encounter a cluster of people swapping statements with no apparent connection to reality, instead of feeling baffled I’ll think: Yes! — they’re engaged in a conspiracy to take each other seriously.
How to Inspire a Movement
June 27th, 2013
Our opponents are putting their bravest faces. Thomas Peters, NOM’s Communications Director, works with a group called Catholic Vote and is pushing the slogan, “The Supreme Court has not ended the debate. It has started a movement.”
That’s an odd slogan, practically an admission that they haven’t managed start a movement up to now. It makes them sound like a blustering loser. And what on earth does the antigay camp in general, and NOM in particular, know about starting or even inspiring a movement?
Actually, quite a bit. In fact they’ve already done it, by following these steps.
- Target a tiny minority in the nation’s wealthiest and most populous state.
- Shock the minority by stripping away a basic human right, one that affects their daily lives in a thousand ways.
- Prove to them they cannot protect their liberty through a polite and deferential silence.
- Force them to fight back by dehumanizing them, declaring their relationships inferior, and their very existence a threat to children.
- Make sure you’ve chosen a state with an enormous media industry, one that is a beacon to the nation’s aspiring creative class.
- Make sure you’ve chosen a minority represented heavily in that industry.
- Tell ridiculous lies about the minority, lies that will outrage their straight coworkers, their friends and family, lies that can’t stand up in court.
- Finally, then, all that’s left is to inspire this minority with what experts call a SMART goal — something specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
And repealing Prop 8 was one smart goal.
Bingo! You’ve created a movement. You’ve created a whole generation of activists and reignited the passion of generations that came before. I’m a living example. I never got involved in the struggle until the antigay industrial complex inspired me to. You need a rally? I’ll launch a rally. And I already create instructional videos for work — why not do a few for the cause?
So it went. You like parties? I like parties. Let’s turn them fundraisers! Let’s make signs and graphics and blogs. Let’s write lesbians and gays into sitcoms and dramas, making them neither villains nor saints, treating them like real people. Let’s go door-to-door and website-to-website, sharing our stories. Let’s create a message of hope, dignity, optimism, and American idealism. Let’s inspire and teach the rest of the country, and let the rest of the country inspire and teach us.
Let’s go on being true — let’s just do it louder.
Of course, California wasn’t the first state to achieve marriage equality — it wasn’t even among the first ten. The fight didn’t begin in this state and it doesn’t end here. And frankly, California’s first lessons came from its mistakes and were about what not to do — not to be hidden, oblique, abstract. But still: California’s the state where NOM worked the hardest and ended up provoking the biggest response, poking the biggest tiger, releasing the biggest torrent, opening the biggest wallet — whatever metaphor you like.
So ultimately we have to give NOM credit. They do know how to inspire a movement. And as a result, Prop 8 and DOMA have been wiped from our nation.
NOM: it’s a staining stench
June 26th, 2013
You already know what the National Organization for Marriage (theirs not yours) has to say, but here’s their message in short.
“… dismay and outrage … illegitimate … will be rejected by tens of millions of Americans … demanded … miscarriage of justice … overturn the perfectly legal action … over 7 million California voters … rewards corrupt politicians … preserve the right of states … refuse to recognize faux marriages … over 52% of the vote … homosexual groups and activists … a homosexual judge in San Francisco … Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals … liberal judge Stephen Reinhardt … stench … stained … corrupt … betray the voters … illegitimate decision … refuse … rogue decision … corruption … so-called gay marriages … vast majority of American voters … marriage as the union of one man and one woman … major victory for those defending Proposition 8, especially Chuck Cooper and his firm, along with the attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom, and Andy Pugno of the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund.”
Clearly there’s a staining stench over there in nomian reality which leads to delusion.
Thomas Peters Drowning in Denial River
June 26th, 2013
From Thomas Peters, Communications Director at NOM:
SCOTUS makes bad decision on Doma, saying its up to the states. Refuses to rule on prop8. But gay activists failed to get what they wanted.
— Thomas Peters (@AmericanPapist) June 26, 2013
His little mental horizon is focused entirely on SCOTUS’ failure to go to the very limits of what it could do, stamping his foot at our celebration and insisting, “But you shouldn’t be happy!”
Hey, whatever it takes to convince your donors you’re not a complete waste of space, I guess.
June 24th, 2013
Ah, the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) is an ever flowing font of amusing silliness. And seldom do they entertain more than when they try for visual illustration.
Often it’s stock imagery. Sometimes it’s downright fraudulent, pretending to be one thing when it’s truly the opposite. And sometimes it’s unintentional irony.
Take, for example, this picture they presented to illustrate their usual claptrap about the importance of “one man one woman” marriage. In this instance they are arguing that while race is irrelevant to marriage, gender is all important.
Cute, huh? A bit simplistic and lacking in meaning, but cute.
Except they just weren’t paying attention. It doesn’t take more than a quick glance to see that this particular finger marriage is not only of the same race, they are of the same gender. This isn’t a ‘one man finger, one woman finger’ marriage, it’s two women fingers, with the lesbian on the right opting for a more masculine look.
June 20th, 2013
Sometimes I think the National Organization for Marriage gets so caught up in their own spin that they have no notion of how surreal their proclamations sound. Consider this bit about Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s recent support for equality:
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, responded: “Senator Murkowski has sealed her political fate. Alaskans voted by an overwhelming majority (68%-32%) to protect marriage in their Constitution when given the opportunity, and an even stronger majority of Republicans in Alaska supported that move; thus, her betrayal of marriage is tantamount to political suicide.”
For those who have forgotten, in 2010 Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers ran a candidate against Murkowski in the Republican primary. She just wasn’t conservative enough for them. And when Joe Miller won the primary, they thought that Murkowski’s moderate positions had sealed her political fate.
But Murkowski ran a write-in campaign.
I don’t mean a third party ticket. I don’t mean being listed without a party. I mean that people had to pull out a pen and physically write her name down on their ballot. There hadn’t been a US Senate seat win by write-in ballot since Strom Thurmond in 1956.
Murkowski won. Miller challenged a bunch of the ballots due to misspellings of Murkowski’s name, but she still beat him. He sued and went to court claiming that there must have been fraud (cuz, really, how could that many people go write in her name?) and the courts still said that she won. The people had a choice between ticking the box for a NOM-approved candidate or remembering and writing in a difficult-to-spell name. They chose Murkowski.
So in just what surreal reality – let’s call it a NOMian reality – does Brown think that the Alaskan voters are going to replace Lisa Murkowski with a more conservative candidate?
Inevitably, NOM will whine
June 6th, 2013
If there is one thing that annoys the National Organization for (not your) Marriage more than any other, it’s the notion that they are one the losing side of history, that marriage equality is inevitable. No one wants to think of their efforts as pointless, and especially not an organization that has hefty salaries to pay.
For example, in their amusingly titled blog post “The Tide Has Turned! Victory in Illinois” in response to the failure of the Illinois House of Representative to vote on equality, Brian Brown begins his declaration thusly:
Dear Marriage Supporter,
The myth of gay marriage inevitability died last night in Illinois! [emphasis in the original
So it must have been a bitter feeling that crept into his soul when he saw the results of a Pew Poll:
Yes, 59% of those who support NOM’s position recognize that equality is inevitable and that any money thrown in NOM’s direction could be better spent on reinforcing their own marriage (or, for that matter, on booze and hookers).
NOM Gets Economics Wrong. Again.
May 30th, 2013
The UCLA Williams Institute (I’ll call them “WI”) is predicting an economic boost of $54-103 million in new spending for Illinois if the state legalizes same-sex marriage.
NOM’s Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse does not agree:
The people and legislators of Illinois should not count on extra revenue as a benefit from redefining marriage. These forecasts are based on an elementary economic error as well as highly dubious forecasts. That is why the “Gay Marriage Economic Miracle!!!” predictions have not worked out so well in the past.
I’ve learned Dr. Morse doesn’t have strong analytical skills, but this is her field, so I hoped for more this time. She did not deliver.
Dr. Morse describes the “elementary economic error”:
The same-sex couples of Illinois would have spent that money on other things: vacations, theater tickets, home decorating, pets, cars, doctor bills. Every dollar spent on weddings is a dollar taken away from some other industry!!
Not…exactly. Despite the italics and double exclamation.
Morse’s point is based on simple economics — simplistic economics, rather. The idea is that when people receive income, they either spend it or they save it, and if they save it, then banks lend those savings out to businesses and other consumers to spend. So every dollar is spent one way or another, and every dollar of income spent one way is just a dollar that can’t be spent some other way.
But consider this: What if the economy’s not so great? In a climate of fear and uncertainty, households usually try to cut back their spending. And businesses have little incentive to invest or expand. Dollars go unspent. You end up with usable but shuttered storefronts, functional but empty factories, and qualified but unemployed workers.
Economists call this the liquidity trap. A perfectly sensible decision by consumers and and businesses to spend less and save more (be more “liquid”) results in lower spending overall, “trapping” the economy in a recession unless we somehow find a way to boost spending back up.
A few signs can tell you if you’re in a liquidity trap. When interest rates plummet, it means businesses must not be competing hard for bank loans to finance expansion. That’s the situation now. Also, it’s not a good sign if businesses are sitting on mountains of cash rather than putting it to productive and profitable use. That, too, is our situation now.
The experts at the Williams Institute, however, do understand the liquidity trap. First, they estimated the number of same-sex couples likely to marry, factored in the average cost per wedding in Illinois, and then made this adjustment:
Also, only spending that comes from couples’ savings would truly be “new spending” for the State’s businesses, rather than money diverted from some other expenditure. To take these factors into account, as in previous studies by the Williams Institute, we estimate here that same-sex couples spend one-quarter of the amount that different-sex couples spend on wedding arrangements.
Emphasis added. In other words, they figured same-sex couples would use savings to pay for about a quarter of their wedding costs, and this is the only spending they counted.
[Note to Dr. Morse: When you're rebutting someone, and they've already preemptively struck down your primary objection, then you need to deal with that instead of pretending it's not there. Failing to do so is either dishonest or sloppy.]
- In 2008, WI predicted 2917 Iowa same-sex couples would marry in the first three years after it became legal, but in 2011 reported that only 866 had done so in the first year.
- In 2008, WI predicted sales tax revenue of $2.7 million per year for the first three years, but in 2011 reported it was only in the range of $850,000 to $930,000 for the first year.
As Dr. Morse says:
In addition, the gross but unacknowledged discrepancy between the inflated prediction of 2008 and the ecstatic report of success in 2011 cries out for explanation.
Fair enough. I’m disturbed that WI didn’t explain or even acknowledge the discrepancy, too. But Dr. Morse continues:
That explanation is simple: the Williams Institute seriously over-estimated the number of same-sex couples who would marry.
Well, it’s not quite that simple, especially if you’re trying to discredit the Illinois predictions.
First, as Dr. Morse should recall, the economy tanked a few months after WI issued its 2008 report. Marriage rates fell across the country (from 7.3% in 2007 to 6.8% in 2009), and it’s not unreasonable to think long-established couples delayed their ceremonies until the world settled down. In addition, the average spent per wedding dropped in Iowa, too.
I suppose it’s possible we’ll have another once-in-a-lifetime meltdown next year, but unless Dr. Morse is counting on it, those factors don’t apply to Illinois.
What WI really got wrong in 2008, though, was wedding tourism — the number of non-Iowans who would come to the state to marry. WI thought 54,723 out-of-state couples would do that, and this number was so far wrong it’s almost comical.
With some trepidation, then, I checked to see how much wedding tourism WI had factored into its Illinois forecast, and the answer is…
That’s right, zero. WI learned from its mistake, and this year when it predicted a $54-103 million boost from legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, it didn’t factor out-of-state couples into its calculations.
That’s a huge correction from the Iowa analysis. Now, you’re free to remain skeptical of these estimates (as a former Ph.D. candidate in economics, I’m skeptical as hell!) but at least be an informed skeptic. Who knows whether Dr. Morse doesn’t understand that this correction occurred, or she understands but is ignoring it to buttress a false case against the Illinois forecast. It’s the standard NOM question: incompetence or deception? All we can know for sure is that if you want a rigorous, well-informed analysis…don’t go to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.