I Spoke to NOM Today!
March 21st, 2013
The National Organization for Marriage has been spreading a host of falsehoods about research into same-sex parenting. Every so I often I lob a tweet about this to Thomas Peters, NOM’s Communications Director. He never replies, which is a shame, because I’ve always wanted to know what he’d say when confronted with these blatant…inaccuracies.
And now I know. [Spoiler alert: He doesn't say, "Oh, we're awful, and I'll fix it right away!']
It began this morning when reader/warrior StraightGrandmother directed me to Maggie Gallagher in the National Review:
There are at least four reviews or studies in peer-reviewed literature that contest the claim that children do equally well with same-sex parents. (Regnerus, Marks, Sirota, Allen). None of which are mentioned by the American Academy of Pediatricians in their endorsement of gay marriage. They cannot cite a single scientific study in a peer-reviewed journal showing children with gay parents are better off if their parents are considered legally married. None of this matters. How serious are we about children’s well-being in this country?
Then I found this new press release on NOM’s website:
One recent large-scale random sample study that has been produced by University of Texas researchers found that those raised in a same-sex household fared worse than those raised in intact heterosexual families on two-thirds of outcomes measured. Nowhere in the AAP statement do they address the confounding scientific evidence by Regnerus, Marks, Sirota and Allen — all published in peer-reviewed journals. The AAP simply ignores them.
I know a bit about Regnerus and Sirota. Their studies tell us nothing about same-sex parenting. I called the phone number on the press release and spoke to a very nice press rep. She told me I should talk to Thomas Peters and gave me the number to his office. And I was all, Goody!
Well, Thomas was reluctant from the start: I’m not a journalist, he doesn’t do impromptu interviews, and I should direct my questions to their press reps. I said a press rep had directed me to him. He hesitantly agreed to a conversation and asked whether I were recording it (no) and whether I were okay with him recording it (of course!).
I referred him to the press release quote above and asked if he were aware that the Sirota study did not look at same-sex parents. He slowly said no (I believe him) and asked what it did look at. I told him Sirota compared kids raised by straight dads with those raised by gay dads, but in both cases the dads were married to the mothers, so the study was really about opposite-sex parenting.
He told me he didn’t write the press release.
When I told him Regnerus hadn’t specified any results for kids raised by same-sex parents, he quickly agreed (that’s why I believed him about Sirota) and accurately characterized the study as looking at kids with a parent who’d had a same-sex relationship. I told him that NOM’s Rhode Island branch wasn’t describing it that way — they were falsely attributing these results to kids raised by lesbian couples.
At this point NOM’s Communications Officer told me if I had a problem with what NOM Rhode Island was saying I should talk to NOM Rhode Island.
(This was actually a screw-up on my part: I didn’t need to bring up NOM-RI. This falsehood was promulgated in the press release above!)
I pressed Thomas on the content of these studies and he fell back to affirming NOM’s broader point that the AAP had simply ignored other research when they issued their politically-motivated endorsement. That sent me back into the details of studies and he fell back to affirming NOM’s other broader point that there isn’t a lot of good research on the topic at all and I wondered whether that meant he was saying these studies supposedly against same-sex marriage weren’t good, either, and he said this was turning into more of a lecture than an interview, on which point he was probably correct, and he firmly and emphatically but not impolitely ended the call.
So now I know what Thomas Peters will do when confronted with NOM’s falsehoods: He’ll act like facts don’t matter.
He won’t dispute the facts. He won’t admit NOM has the facts wrong. He won’t take responsibility for how the facts are communicated. Instead he’ll evade. He’ll change the subject. He’ll strategically retreat to discussing NOM’s broader points in order to avoid getting mired in the tiny points. Like facts.
Now, remember, I didn’t record the call, so I’m recounting this from memory. And I’m editorializing (just a bit?). But that, of course, is why Thomas records this sort of call. And if Thomas would like to release the entire, unedited audio of the conversation, I hereby grant him permission.
Somebody please let me know if he does.
Cue the calliope – NOM reacts to Portman
March 15th, 2013
We’re quite accustomed to the National Organization for Marriage saying things that are, shall we say, creative in their approach to facts. To put it in religious terms, the like to walk by faith, not by sight.
But today’s response to Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announcing his support for equality is wacky to the point of clown car, looney toons, bad 70′s Disney annimation, complete wackadoodleness.
A spokesman for the National Organization for Marriage on Friday slammed Sen. Rob Portman, who has announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his long-held opposition to the issue.
“What Mr. Portman is doing is shrinking the size of the GOP tent,” charged Thomas Peters, a spokesman for the socially conservative NOM, in an interview with POLITICO. “I think it will have huge consequences if he chooses to run again.”
Sure, maybe there on Planet Completelynutso it would shrink the tent to include the majority of people who support equality. Maybe in Delusionville it’s a smart long term plan to side with the elderly and ignore everyone under 40.
But back here in reality, I’m beginning to think that Thomas Peters is in the market for a good tinfoil hat.
As NOM often tells us, married people live longer
March 14th, 2013
The National Organization for Marriage often touts the statistical advantages of marriage. For example, this is from their fact sheet, Why Marriage Matters:
Both men and women who marry live longer, healthier and happier lives. On virtually every measure of health and well-being, married people are better-off than otherwise similar singles, on average.
Which is, to my way of thinking, a good reason to support marriage equality. Unless, I suppose, you don’t want gay people to live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
But I think NOM would counter that these statistics of benefit only apply to heterosexual marriages. And it is the magical, mystical, godly coming together of penis and vagina that in some unknown way (similar to the power of wearing your lucky socks on game day) gives better lives. I get the sense that they really do think there’s something holy and mysterious about heterosexual married sex.
But they would be wrong. The Danes took a look. (LA Times)
Men in same-sex marriages are living longer, according to Danish researchers, but mortality rates among married lesbians have begun to rise after a long period of decline.
The study, published Tuesday in the International Journal of Epidemiology, used Denmark’s civil registry to follow 6.5 million adults from 1982 to 2011. The study is the first of its kind to examine mortality — the risk of death during a specific period of time — and relationship status for an entire nation.
(What do you bet NOM mentions this study… but only the part about married lesbians mortality beginning to increase.)
And it turns out that it isn’t penis in vagina, after all, that results in longer lives.
Researchers found that marriage in and of itself did not ensure low mortality during the period studied. For instance, opposite-sex married couples who lived apart faced a two-fold increase in their mortality rate.
Also, heterosexual men and women saw a steep jump in their mortality rate during the study period if they were married two or more times. The rate increased 27% for women with each successive marriage, and it increased 16% for men.
And so, with their usual logic, social conservatives will continue to insist that gay men and women leave their partners and live celibately. Or marry someone of the opposite sex – even though they know that this is likely to result in some poor soul’s unhappy divorce and remarriage (and increased mortality).
You’re killing me, NOM, you’re killing me!
NOM plans dramatic revelation of their irrelevancy
January 28th, 2013
The National Organization for Marriage has a nice long history of illustrating just how few people pay attention to them. There was their multi-state tour of mostly empty city plazas, their bus trip through California for Carly Fiorini in which literally no people showed up at some stops, and their efforts at collecting signatures from people who were willing to pledge to consider buying other brands than General Mills.
But NOM is nothing if not persistent. So now they are planning the grand, dramatic, colossal, ultimate illustration of just how inept, inadequate, and irrelevant they really are. NOM is going to march on Washington.
Not long ago, I sent you an email hinting that NOM was getting ready to launch some major initiatives. Well, after participating in the March for Life last Friday, I am excited to announce that NOM is putting together a March for Marriage!
It will take place in Washington DC on March 26th — the day the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case. You can go to www.MarriageMarch.org and sign up for information and alerts today!
I’ll be sending you more information in the days and weeks to come… but this is a pivotal moment in the marriage movement — an opportunity to show grassroots support from throughout the nation for marriage just as Proposition 8, the potential Roe v. Wade of marriage, is being considered!
Brian Brown is fresh back from France where hundreds of thousands of Catholics (a million he claims) converged on Paris to demand that marriage be limited to maman and papa. And no doubt he is dreaming that a million American Catholics (and a few Mormons, an Orthodox Jew, and some guy who can pass as Muslim – ya know, multi-faith) will gloriously march on our capital and tell our nation’s politicians and judges that the traditional definition of marriage must be protected from the assault by activist homosexuals.
I’m predicting 100. And I’m in a generous mood.
But I pledge: even though the mainstream media, the religious media, and the random people wandering by with a smart phone will all ignore Brian’s pathetic little effort, we here at Box Turtle Bulletin will give it all the attention it deserves. And if you happen to be in DC on March 26th, please feel free to snap a pic or two and send them our way.
A very very funny comment by NOM
December 21st, 2012
Over on NOMblog, the page where the National Organization for Marriage (but not yours) reports every moment the anti-gay industry has a tiny temporary advance and rants on with the same tired old objections to reality, they are apoplectic that Newt Gingrich stuck his finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing and said, “hot damn, that’s a gale, I’d better get on the pro-gay marriage train and fast!”. But amid the shock and horror of Newt, Newt, abandoning them, was this gem:
By an overwhelming 60% margin (according to a national survey conducted by Gingrich’s own pollster, Kellyanne Conway), the American people continue to believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Ahem… perhaps Gingrich knows better than to believe Conway’s polling precisely because she’s his own pollster.
Chairman of the Board for Hypocrisy
December 13th, 2012
John Eastman is all of the following:
- Chairman of the Board for the National Organization for Marriage
- Current professor and former Dean at Chapman University School of Law
- A specialist in constitutional law and legal history
And…wait, there was one more. Oh, yeah:
- Another conservative happy to chuck his principles so he can be anti-gay
Eastman has a commentary about Prop 8 in USA Today: “Federal government can define marriage too.” I found it pointless and disjointed, but one paragraph leapt out at me, apparently in defense of DOMA:
And if states have the right to define marriage, doesn’t the federal government have that same right? It’s the constitutional duty of our elected officials to decide what burden taxpayers bear in dealing with same-sex couples. Federal laws encourage men and women to marry and have children because society has a profound interest in ensuring that children are born (to continue society) and then raised by their parents to become responsible adults.
That surprised me. Conservative legal scholars are usually federalists who believe in limiting the federal government’s power to what’s enumerated in the Constitution, leaving everything else to the people or to the states. It would be hypocritical, even bizarre, for a federalist to throw all that out the window with a simple, “And if states have the right to define marriage, doesn’t the federal government have that same right?” Because a federalist would answer that with a firm, “No.” Perhaps even a lifting of the chest, an intake of the breath, a scowl on the brow, and a stern, “Absolutely not!”
So I figured, John Eastman must not be a federalist.
[I]t became and remains one of the most fundamental tenets of our constitutional system of government that the sovereign people delegated to the national government only certain, enumerated powers, leaving the residuum of power to be exercised by the state governments or by the people themselves.
This division of sovereign powers between the two great levels of government was not simply a constitutional add-on, by way of the Tenth Amendment. Rather, it is inherent in the doctrine of enumerated powers embodied in the main body of the Constitution itself. Article I of the Constitution provides, for example, that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” And the specific enumeration of powers, found principally in Article I, section 8, was likewise limited.
Of course, when he wrote that he was trying to place limits on federal business regulation. But if that’s his principle, then surely he would apply it consistently. He wouldn’t abandon it just so the federal government could actively limit the rights of gay people. He’d never casually argue a non sequitur like, “And if states have the right to define marriage, doesn’t the federal government have that same right?”
But — ha! — I’m just kidding. John Eastman isn’t a principled conservative. He’s just a professional anti-gay at NOM.
December 7th, 2012
The National Organization for (heterosexual only) Marriage has issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari on the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.
“We believe that it is significant that the Supreme Court has taken the Prop 8 case,” said John Eastman, NOM’s chairman and former Dean (and current professor) at Chapman University School of Law. “We believe it is a strong signal that the Court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8. That is the right outcome based on the law and based on the principle that voters hold the ultimate power over basic policy judgments and their decisions are entitled to respect.”
Eastman quit the Dean position to run for Attorney General. He lost badly with only 34% of the primary vote.
He also opined about DOMA(3)
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court will review lower-court decisions that invalidate the judgment of the U.S. Congress to define marriage as one man and one woman,” Eastman said. “It’s not the job of federal judges to substitute their views for the policy judgments of the people’s duly elected representatives. We believe the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn this exercise in judicial activism and stop federal judges from legislating from the bench on the definition of marriage. We’re confident the Court will uphold DOMA.”
Which makes me wonder what Eastman thinks is the job of federal judges. It also makes me think that he is likely a phenomenally poor predictor of SCOTUS results. Or indisposed to truthfulness.
That Anti-Gay Double Standard
December 4th, 2012
The National Organization for Marriage is thrilled with a Nevada judge who ruled that banning same-sex marriage does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. NOM’s chairman writes:
In stark contrast to the findings of a rogue judge in California who himself was engaged in a long-term homosexual relationship, the federal court in Nevada has quite properly found that true marriage serves an important public purpose and is entitled to protection.
I’ll pass over the hilarious notion that a judge who wasn’t overturned by the Ninth Circuit Apellate Court is somehow “rogue.” I’m more interested in that side comment:
…who himself was engaged in a long-term homosexual relationship…
You know what he’s implying. Judge Walker had a personal stake in Prop 8, which compromises his ruling. You can certainly dispute that, but for the sake of argument, let’s accept NOM’s principle and apply it to Robert Clive Jones, the Nevada judge whom NOM so deeply admires. What do we find?
- Robert Clive Jones is Mormon who is active in the church.
- Robert Clive Jones is married to a woman.
Personally, I have no problem with that. But NOM? Oh my gosh. If NOM is true to its principles then it ought to be in full repudiation mode against the man.
NOM, you see, holds that marriage equality is a threat to religious freedom. It’s probably their central argument these days. And Mormon religious leaders have said the same, and have done so more than once.
This means that as an active Mormon, Jones has a personal stake in the ruling — according to both NOM’s standards and those of his church. Obviously, then, NOM should issue an ad hominem fatwa against him, just as they did against Judge Walker.
No? Not enough?
Then how about this: NOM holds that same-sex marriage is a threat to “traditional” marriage, and Jones is “traditionally” married. In fact, you can find some of this sentiment in Jones’ own ruling:
Should [marriage] be expanded to include same-sex couples with the state’s imprimatur, it is conceivable that a meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently…
“Conceivable”? I suppose it is, at least in the sense that anything you can describe in words is “conceivable,” in the sense that it’s conceivable North Korea actually has discovered a medieval unicorn lair, but still, we’re not basing our judicial rulings on the possibility.
This conceivable notion is so implausible I have to wonder why Jones considers it “meaningful.” Could it be that Jones is worried he’d value his own marriage less if marriage equality were made law? Once again, there’s a personal interest, a reason for NOM to reject his ruling.
This is all ludicrous, of course. And that’s the point. We let black judges rule on civil rights cases. We let women judges rule on birth control and abortion cases. We let devout judges rule on religious freedom cases. And we let gay judges rule on same-sex marriage cases.
But NOM screams STOP at that last example. Not that NOM has anything against gays. There’s no anti-gay double standard at work. Surely not — NOM is just standing by its principles. Principles they only want to enforce against, well, gays.
What ELSE Might They Be Wrong About?
November 15th, 2012
Oh, it’s time for some fun. When Obama endorsed marriage equality back in May, the National Organization had something to say about it. It’s time to glance back at those statements and see just how well NOM understands America. I’ve bolded some of the juiciest bits in case you’re short on time, but the full quotes are worth reading, especially if you’re feeling especially schadenfreudy.
Let’s start with this headline, glorious in its certainty:
The Obama campaign is beholden to gay marriage financiers and is counting on an energized base to carry him to victory this November. But it’s an approach that is likely to backfire, alienating large parts of the constituency that carried him to victory in 2008…President Obama’s announcement is likely to spark a divisive battle over same-sex marriage in the Democratic Party platform this summer. Same-sex marriage will be a defining issue in swing states, especially states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Nevada where state marriage amendments are threatened by President Obama’s position.
NOM gave us this quote from their favorite political consultant, full of sagacity and wisdom:
The left is jumping for joy at their accomplishment, forcing President Obama out of the closet on gay marriage. Their celebration will be short-lived, though, because they have very likely cost him the presidency. The presidential election is not going to be decided in states like California where George Clunie and Nancy Pelosi are cheering President Obama’s gay marriage “evolution,” but based on how voters in a series of swing states cast their ballots – states like North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada. President Obama and his buddies on the left have thrust the issue of same-sex marriage front and center in these swing states. How is that going to play? Not well for Obama.
Here’s NOM in all its foot-stamping determination:
The definition of marriage was already headed for the ballot in four states this fall; now it will be one of the defining issues of the presidential election. No state in this country has ever voted for gay marriage. Just yesterday North Carolina voters sent a clear message that America wants to preserve marriage. We intend to win the marriage debate this November.
And you might say this one backfired on them:
Pres. Obama may be basking in the applause of the media, and rolling in cash from his gay millionaire bundlers, but American now has a clear choice: a president who supports gay marriage or one who stands with the majority of the American people.
How did that “clear choice” work out for you NOM?
That’s just a sampling. Browse their blog and you’ll find many more:
This is sinfully delicious. NOM is currently in full damage control mode right, inventing reason after reason why they didn’t really lose on November 6. But no matter what they say now, they were simply, fully, and woefully wrong about Obama, marriage equality, and America. Instead of rationalizing away their disaster, they ought to be asking:
If we were so wrong about this, what else might we be wrong about?
But I suppose if they were that thoughtful and aware, they wouldn’t be in the business they’re in.
NOM’s fantasyland poll
November 9th, 2012
Cue the calliope, Kellyanne Conway is back with some more charmingly imaginative polling numbers. And just as a creative mind can almost believe that the beribboned wood-carved creations bobbing up and down are a real pack of wild horses, if you dream real hard and listen to the music, Conway’s polls can almost seem just like real ones.
But even at the Happiest Place on Earth, the music stops. And the wooden horse is just a wooden horse.
And, so too, when the giddy moment of make-believe ends, Kellyanne Conway’s “polls” remain nothing but tools for frauds and manipulators to try and convince themselves and others of things that simply are not true. And so it is to Conway’s ‘the polling company, inc.’ that the National Organization for Marriage has turned for consolation over Tuesday’s losses.
In some sad delusional effort to flash bright lights and play jingly music, NOM brings us this:
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today released the results of a nationwide survey of voters conducted on Election Day that shows 60% of Americans who voted in the election favor marriage being the union of one man and one woman. The survey, conducted by respected pollster Kellyanne Conway’s firm ‘the polling company, inc.’ is consistent with a national survey they conducted this past September showing 57% of Americans then believed marriage should only be the union of one man and one woman.
“The outcome of the marriage votes in four very liberal states has caused some to speculate as to whether the American people have changed their views on marriage. This scientific poll shows that the answer to that is, ‘no’ they have not changed,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “This survey shows that 60% of voters believe marriage is one man and one woman, which is consistent with the 57% result ‘the polling company’ found in September.”
How was that poll conducted?
Conducted by the polling company, inc., the survey interviewed 800 randomly selected people who actually voted.
You may note that the familiar language about “statistically valid random sampling methodology” was not used. Instead they opted for that phrase most associated with convenience sampling. And cues one that their results have about the same reliability as one would find by “randomly selecting” people at your local mall. That is, not much.
And the question?
Do you (ROTATED) agree or disagree that “marriage is between one man and one woman”?
Well let me ask you, do YOU disagree that marriage is between one man and one woman? I don’t. I’ve been to several marriages that were between one man and one woman. I just also happen to believe that marriage is between one man and one man or one woman and one woman.
Which pretty much means that this means nothing. It’s a garbled response to a deliberately confusing question asked to people that were not selected to reflect the populace or the voters. But it’s presented as though it has meaning.
It’s kinda sad, really.
When your best bet is to present a fantasy, a whimsical ride on a merry-go-round, you pretty much have no reality to rely on. And you know it. When you resort to candyfloss polling, it’s because you know, you know with certainty, that any real poll would show you a world much more real than you can stand seeing.
And while this kind of nonsensical fairy-tale alternate reality may be appropriate for light lifters like Brian Brown, it’s embarrassing to see educated once-thoughtful people like Robert George or Maggie Gallagher associated with this level of story telling and myth mongering.
November 7th, 2012
Nope. Nothing historic to see here:
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), released the following statement today:
“Obviously we are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles by narrow margins. We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America. As our opponents built a huge financial advantage, the odds became even steeper. We ran strong campaigns and nearly prevailed in a very difficult environment, significantly out-performing the GOP ticket in every state.
Despite the fact that NOM was able to contribute a record amount to the campaigns (over $5.5 million), we were still heavily outspent, by a margin of at least four-to-one. We were fighting the entirety of the political establishment in most of the states, including sitting governors in three of the states who campaigned heavily for gay marriage. Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case. Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.
Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it. Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now.”
Rubio Records Robocall for NOM
November 2nd, 2012
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been identified as a rising star in national politics, is making robocalls on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage to voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, where marriage equality is on the ballot (Minnesota, which is considering a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, prohibits robocalls.) And in a sign that marriage is still seen as a wedge issue, those calls are also going out to the swing states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Also making calls for NOM are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Focus on the Family co-founder James Dobson.
October 22nd, 2012
It’s been a while since we bopped over to the National Organization for Marriage’s website to see how things are going. But here’s how they’re doing:
Dump Starbucks – NOM has been dumping Starbucks for at least as far back as April, so by now anyone who is going to boycott Starbucks has pretty much already signed their pledge, leaving it peaked out at 48,382. They’ve only picked up about 3,000 signatures in the past 3-4 months. Needless to say, Starbucks isn’t trembling.
Dump General Mills – This dump was even smaller. At 24,611 individuals pledging to “look for substitutes” to General Mills brands, this is a colossal failure.
Keep the Republic and Marriage – Concerned that the world is going to discover any day now that almost every single cent they have comes from the Roman Catholic Church or one of it’s adjunct organizations, NOM started this website to rally their followers to donate and get on their list. It’s not going so well. In the three weeks that they’ve been pushing this project, they have managed to get 371 signatures on their roster, several of which are employees and Board Members.
Matching Pledge – Also about three weeks old is NOM’s double-down matching pledge. It’s doing a little better, but if their goal was to pick up small donors I don’t think they’ve done that. With one week to go until the election, NOM has raised $539,367 of their million dollar goal (bringing the total donation to $1,618,101). If we were to assume that this was related to their Republic marriage list, that would be about $1,500 per donor (an unlikely idea) so we can white off the “gee, look at our everyday average-joe contributors”.
But, then again, this is all just dressing and for show. NOM doesn’t need donors or supporters; their funding source has very very deep pockets.
Follow the Money: Catholic Groups Emerge As Largest Donors In Marriage Battles
October 18th, 2012
Simultaneous to Equally Blessed’s report on the Knights of Columbus’ extensive donations against marriage equality since 2005, the Human Rights Campaign released its tabulations of contributions to the four 2012 battleground states in which marriage proposals are on the ballot. According to the HRC’s calculations, the Catholic Church and its affiliate organizations are providing more than half of the funds that have been raised so far against marriage equality in each of the four battleground states.
The major sources of funding include various dioceses and parishes of the Catholic Church itself, the Catholic charitable organization the Knights of Columbus, and the National Organization for Marriage, which has extensive ties to the Catholic hierarchy. The breakdown of Catholic spending against marriage equality in 2012 goes like this:
Minnesota: Of the nearly $1.2 million raised so far, $600,000 has come from the Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense fund, $135,000 from the Knights of Columbus and its local chapters, $188,200 from Catholic dioceses and parishes across the nation, and $23,000 from NOM. Nearly 78% of Minnesota’s anti-marriage funding has come from Catholic sources.
Maryland: Of the $855,00 raised so far, $250,000 has come from the Knights of Columbus, $400,000 from NOM, and $12,000 from the Maryland Catholic Conference. About 77% of Maryland’s anti-marriage funding has come from Catholic sources.
Washington: Of the 1.6 million raised so far, $675,939 has come from NOM, $250,000 from the Knights of Columbus, another $4,000 from a local Knights chapter, $5,000 from St. Monica Parish. About 58% of Washington’s anti-marriage funding has come from Catholic sources.
Maine: Of the $446,317 raised so far, $263,324 has come from NOM, and $1,135 from the Knights of Columbus. About 59% of Maine’s anti-marriage funding has come from those two sources.
These activities contrast sharply to public opinion polls which show that Roman Catholics increasingly support marriage quality for gays and lesbians. A Public Religion Research Poll in 2011 showed that nearly three quarters of self-identified Roman Catholics support civil recognition of marriage or civil unions, with 64% of weekly churchgoing Catholics holding that same opinion. In 2012, Catholic support for marriage equality has risen noticeably, particularly when the question is framed in terms of civil marriage. When same-sex marriage is defined as a civil marriage “like you get at city hall,” Catholic support for allowing gay couples to marry increases by 28 points, from 43% to 71%. (This large jump is undoubtedly due to the fact that Catholics — divorced Catholics in particular — are very attuned to the distinction between a civil marriage and a church marriage.) This latest data demonstrates a growing divide between lay Catholics and the actions of the Catholic Church and its affiliated institutions.
NOM is DESPERATE for small donors
October 8th, 2012
We have long known that the National Organization for Marriage has been funded by a small handful of very significant donors. What I suspect is that once the nature of these donors is known and affiliates eliminated, it may turn out to just be one or two entities.
Whether it is the case that NOM is nothing other than a front for the Roman Catholic Church or it turns out that the few donors are all unrelated, they most definitely want to keep their identity secret. They have been fighting tooth and toenail to fund anti-gay campaigns without the public finding out who is behind their facade.
But they may be recognizing that their deception is about to come to an end. Although they are blustering and making absurd claims about the ruling, it seems that the State of Maine is going to finally be able to identify who has been dumping money into their state in hopes of denying gay Mainers their civil rights.
And NOM is running scared. They need to dilute their donor base as quickly as possible with as many small donors and individuals as possible.
The first indication of this effort was their oddly named Keep the Republic and Marriage website. They appealed to the pride of “traditional marriage” supporters and called for them to add their name (and make a donation). But in the week since launching the effort, they have 138 names. If you back out two blank names, Danilo Ramirez (who put his name down five times), and the employees/board of NOM, you end up with only maybe 125 donors. Not good.
So now they’ve doubled down. Literally.
I’m familiar with “matching grants”, where a donor agrees to match every dollar that is pledged during a set period. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a double-matching grant, where for every dollar given a single donor gives two. But that’s what NOM is doing.
That’s right! Your gift of $50 will result in $150 to NOM. $100 becomes $300. $500 turns into $1,500. And if we reach our goal of $1,000,000, NOM will receive a total of $3,000,000 to protect marriage from Obama and his friends in the homosexual lobby!
They have a grand total of less than $80,000 in small donor dollars. And they have multi-millions to spend. They are desperate to say “we have thousands of donors and the average gift is $150″. And it doesn’t look like they are going to be able to do anything close to that.
NOM has 112 supporters
October 1st, 2012
The National Organization for Marriage has launched a new website for the purpose of, well I have no idea what the purpose of this endeavor might be. They say that it has something to do with intimidation and threat and is the result of Dan Cathy being criticized for his vile comments:
Therefore, we seek the courageous affirmation of your beliefs regarding both marriage and liberty. With our signatures below and personal contributions to the National Organization for Marriage, we commit ourselves to stopping the downward spiral of intimidation and fear threatening hard-won American liberties and the institution of marriage. We hope our widening base of public and financial support will embolden many fellow Americans to join us in the campaign to preserve both our form of government and the institution of marriage.
For some reason they’ve decided on the rather awkward “Keep the Republic and Marriage” as the name of their latest endeavor. I wonder if they intentionally went with something that sounds like “keep the Republican marriage”? In any case, I think it’s an odd choice for an odd venture.
It’s a bit difficult to figure out just what they are trying to do here. I guess that having lost all attempts at keeping their donors hidden, they thought they’d try and confuse the fact that they are an organization almost entirely funded by a tiny handful of very wealthy donors. So they are encouraging people to “widen their base of financial support” in order to change the subject.
“Even though donors to NOM are not subject to public disclosure [a flatly false statement], a number of our donors wanted to show that they would not be bullied and were not afraid to publicly proclaim their support for NOM as a way of encouraging others to publicly stand up to support marriage,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “These key donors were inspired by the courage of Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, who resolutely told Americans that he unabashedly believed in God’s design for marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
I doubt the wisdom in the decision to make this site a listing of their supporters (other than the ones whom they have been fighting tooth and toenail to hide). Their “dump” programs didn’t go so well, with neither boycott reaching 50,000. I can’t imagine that this one, requiring a donation, will do much better. And ultimately they will only succeed in putting an upper-end number on their total support base.
Right now, they’ve done nothing more with the site than give me the opportunity to note that NOM has 112 supporters.
No Supreme Court Action on Prop 8, DOMA Cases; NOM’s Finance Disclosure Appeal Denied (Again)
October 1st, 2012
The orders page is out for today, with no mention of the Prop 8 case (Hollingsworth v. Perry) or the Defense of Marriage Act Challenge (Windsor v. US). Which means that the court has neither denied nor granted cert to review the cases. There is increasing speculation that the court may not take action on these cases until November when at least three more cases challenging DOMA will be available for review by the Justices.
There are two other LGBT related cases before the court. Diaz v. Brewer, challenging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s attempt to withdraw domestic partner benefits from state employees. The court has taken no action on that case yet
But in National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, in which NOM is again trying to get the Supreme Court’s attention in its efforts to circumvent Maine’s finance disclosure laws, the supreme court denied NOM’s request for certiorari. The Supreme Court refused to hear an earlier similar challenge from NOM in February.
NOM Bears False Witness
September 28th, 2012
Just a quick one today. NOM reports that:
In Minnesota, the people’s continued success in fighting for marriage is provoking some among the opposition to vandalize churches. Yes, sad—but true, as the media reports: “Police are searching for the person responsible for vandalizing multiple churches in Buffalo, Minn., over the weekend.”
That link leads to a story about a man who vandalized churches and left messages depicting Jesus as gay. But NOM fails, of course, to tell its followers this statement from Chief of Police Mitchell Weinzetl:
“The suspect explained that he was motivated to commit these acts due to his anger with God over personal issues; there was no mention of, nor any indication of, political motivations to the suspect’s actions,” Weinzetl said Wednesday night. [NOM posted its message Friday afternoon.]
And also this:
Weinzetl declined to give specific examples of what the messages contained, other than to characterize them as “inflammatory” and add that “the word gay is mentioned, and there are other terms mentioned that would be derogatory to people of a homosexual nature. … And it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out what those words may be.”
So a man who hates God attacked a bunch of churches for opposing gay marriage, even though he hates gays? How is NOM going to reconcile that contradiction to its readers?
Wait, I covered that above: NOM simply won’t tell them.
You might wonder why I keep debunking these. NOM lies so much, can’t we just take that for granted? No. Because every time NOM does this — every time it falsely claims religious persecution — they’re demonstrating their paucity of genuine evidence. Every time they do this, they prove that they are wrong.
And finally there’s this: the email version of their message contains two DONATE NOW buttons. At some point, perhaps, we can hold them accountable for repeatedly defrauding their donors.
Supreme Court Declines Prop 8, DOMA Cases For Now
September 25th, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its Orders List (PDF: 136KB/10 pages) following yesterday’s conference session in which it was scheduled to consider whether to hear four LGBT-related cases. Today’s Order list indicates that the Supreme Court has agreed to accept six pending case, but the appeal of Hollingsworth v. Perry — the new name for Perry v. Brown, which itself was previously Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 — was not on the list.
It’s not clear yet though that this means that the Prop 8 case was rejected by the court. We won’t learn that until next Monday, when the Supreme Court will issue a list of cases it has decided not to hear this term. If Hollingsworth v. Perry is on that list, then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional will stand and California’s same-sex couples will have their marriage rights restored. But if Hollingsworth v. Perry is not on that list, then it means that the Supreme Court is still weighing whether to accept the case. It takes four justices to agree on hearing a case before it is accepted by the court.
The court also held off accepting the appeal of Windsor v. USA, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. This case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behal of Edie Windsor, who is required to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes following the death of her legally-wedded wife in 2007. If she had been in an opposite-sex marriage, her estate tax bill would have been zero. Four other DOMA challenges are making their way through the Appeals courts, and the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to hear three of those cases along with Windsor for a more comprehensive look at DOMA’s constitutionality.
The court has also, so far, declined to accept two other LGBT-related cases. In Diaz v. Brewer, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer cannot withdraw domestic parner benefits from state employees without violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. And in National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, NOM is again trying to get the Supreme Court’s attention in its efforts to circumvent Maine’s finance disclosure laws. The Supreme Court refused to hear an earlier challenge from NOM in February.
Klassy klassy NOM removes list of endorsed candidates
September 14th, 2012
Earlier tonight the National Organization for Marriage had a posted list of candidates in New York whom they encouraged their followers to support. I went to double check to see if NOM was as much the kiss of death as they usually are … but just like magic that list had disappeared. Poof.
Oh NOM, you’re so klassy, you must be a Kardashian.