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Posts for May, 2014

Maine committee recommends fining NOM

Timothy Kincaid

May 19th, 2014

From the Bangor Daily News

Maine ethics investigators are recommending more than $50,000 in fines for a national anti-gay-marriage organization for failing to register and disclose its activities in Maine’s 2009 same-sex marriage referendum.

That year, an effort to legalize same-sex marriage — approved by the Legislature and signed by then-Gov. John Baldacci — was repealed at the ballot box with 53 percent of the vote.

National Organization for Marriage was the largest contributor to the ’09 anti-gay-marriage campaign, and dumped roughly $2 million into the state. That money was integral in defeating the fledgling marriage equality law.

The Ethics Commission will decide later this month whether to accept the recommendation of the reviewers and to assess the fine.

No No NOM

Timothy Kincaid

May 14th, 2014

The National Organization for Marriage’s delaying tactic seeking to intervene in the marriage ban trial in Oregon has been slapped down. (Oregon Live)

After a nearly hourlong hearing, McShane ruled that the National Organization for Marriage was unreasonably late in filing its request to intervene. He also said that the group couldn’t simply seek to intervene in the place of Rosenblum to defend the law. “The attorney general is answerable to voters,” the judge said. “NOM is not.”

In addition, McShane said the Washington, D.C.-based group didn’t make its case that it should be allowed to intervene on behalf of three anonymous Oregon members of NOM: a county clerk who issues marriage licenses, a wedding provider and a voter who supported the 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

McShane said he understood the group’s concerns that its members might face harassment if they were named in the case. But he said Eastman’s group made no attempt to provide confidential information to the judge that would allow him to assess any harm to their members if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry in Oregon.

NOM is appealing.

However, at this point it seems likely that Judge McShane will simply rule on the matter and not wait for NOM to be told by every court in the land that they don’t have standing to represent imaginary people.

If he rules quickly enough, the organizers of the petition to bring the ban back to the voters will stop their campaign.

Virginia Photo Request

Timothy Kincaid

May 6th, 2014

The National Organization for Marriage is coming to Virginia to hold a rally. Well, I assume a few people will, though NOM rallies are mostly known for drawing embarrassingly small crowds.

So if there is anyone who will be in Richmond, VA, next Tuesday and has a moment to take a picture of their rally, please send us the pics.

Oh, and hey, now we know why the stick figures in their logo have their hands up. I always figured they were just playing the airplane game.

Oregon to have hearing tomorrow without NOM

Timothy Kincaid

April 22nd, 2014

From Oregon United for Marriage:

Judge Michael McShane denied the National Organization for Marriage’s attempt to delay tomorrow’s scheduled oral arguments in federal lawsuit challenging Oregon’s marriage ban.

Previously, no party had stepped up to defend the ban. But this morning, the D.C.-based NOM filed a motion requesting to intervene in the case, simultaneously urging the judge to delay Wednesday’s oral arguments as he considers the last-minute motion.

With Judge McShane’s ruling today, oral arguments will proceed as scheduled tomorrow afternoon at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. However, the judge will consider NOM’s motion to intervene in the case and has scheduled oral arguments on that issue for May 14th. If the motion to intervene is accepted, Judge McShane would then schedule a second briefing schedule on summary judgement or move the case to trial.

Sorry NOM, your delaying tactic didn’t work today.

NOM wants to defend Oregon’s marriage ban

Timothy Kincaid

April 21st, 2014

It has finally come to the attention of the National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) that no one is defending the anti-gay marriage ban in Oregon (maybe they read Box Turtle Bulletin).

And so, two days before the hearing begins, NOM has decided that they will step in and fill the void. (NOMBlog)

NOM’s lead legal counsel — its chairman John Eastman — will tell the federal court in the filing today that NOM’s members in Oregon include a county clerk who must perform marriages and certify them, professionals in the wedding industry, and voters who cannot defend their interests in upholding the law themselves due to legitimate fear of reprisal.

“It is precisely for this reason that federal law has a strong premise that organizations like NOM should be able to intervene to defend the interests of their members who cannot adequately defend those interests themselves,” said John Eastman, NOM’s Chairman and Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at The Claremont Institute.

If our motion to intervene is granted, we intend to fully and aggressively defend the state constitutional amendment.

Now I suppose it is possible that Eastman missed that tiny little obscure Proposition 8 case in which the Supreme Court said that the organization that wrote the proposition, campaigned for it, and got it passed did not have standing to defend the state law. Or perhaps he thinks that anonymous members and county clerks in the state give NOM standing.

And wouldn’t it be funny as all hell seeing Eastman make a fool of himself and his organization and having his rather prodigious posterior handed to him on a platter.

But no, it’s likelier that Eastman is just being a blowhard and won’t even turn in a motion. He probably just wanted some way to say the following without looking like a completely bigoted purveyor of bullpoopery.

Eastman also said that news reports over the weekend that Judge Michael McShane is in a long-term relationship with another man and that the two are raising a child together raise serious ethical questions about whether the judge should continue to hear the case.

“These recent news reports suggest that Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality,” Eastman said.

He knows that the courts have already ruled that gay judges ruling on matters that impact gay people are not presumed to be partial. It’s just an appeal to the baser nature of NOM’s supporters.

About that radical militant activist Judge Friedman

Timothy Kincaid

March 25th, 2014

The National Organization for Marriage (theirs, not yours) has had a rough time of it lately. With loss after loss in courts across the country, financial woes, and staggering shifts in public opinion, they’ve pretty much given up the fight in the US.

Oh, they are still flogging their plans for a Marriage March (as the last one was so effective, snark) but when I went to their website following the Michigan ruling for the predictable rant about liberals and one man in robes overruling the voters, Brian Brown and Co. hadn’t even made a comment. They finally, yesterday, got around to posting the opinion of the local Catholic bishop, but it was just too tame to quote.

So we’ll have to settle for the knowledge that if Brian Brown hadn’t been sobbing under his desk, he’d have served us the usual portion of “radical militant activist judges legislating from the bench”.

So let’s take a look at radical militant activist Judge Friedman. And you already know where this is going, don’t you.

The great gods of irony have long since writ the script on marriage equality decisions. And they’ve decided that despite decades of Republicans campaigning on the idea that they must be elected to appoint true defenders of the constitution, a good many of those jurists who have found that gay people are equally protected by the US Constitution hail from the R side of the judicial pool.

So, of course, for this ruling – the one that tolled the death knell of their last claim to anti-gay “research” – the irony gods pulled out all the stops. Not only is Friedman a life-long conservative Republican with long record of right-side-of-the-aisle perspective on law, he was appointed by the glowing idol of the GOP. (Slate)

Judge Bernard Friedman is from eastern Michigan, where he was an honors student at Michigan State University and did JAG service during Vietnam. He became a reliable conservative jurist and was appointed by President Reagan in 1988.

Someone hand Brian Brown another hanky.

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.

NOM has no love for Christie

Timothy Kincaid

October 21st, 2013

NOMblog:

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

Timothy Kincaid

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

Timothy Kincaid

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…”

Timothy Kincaid

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

Timothy Kincaid

September 12th, 2013

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed NOM’s Dump General Mills project (it just seemed the kind thing to do). But now there’s news to report.

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

Timothy Kincaid

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

Timothy Kincaid

July 22nd, 2013

It’s Working!

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.

It’s Working!

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