NOM speaks to another mostly-empty city plaza
July 23rd, 2010
As they moved out of the northeast and into more conservative Ohio, it was assumed that NOM’s rallies would begin to pick up attendance. They even brought out Maggie Gallagher, their big media star, to speak to the crowd at the State House south lawn. But the crowd didn’t show up.
The Tour Tracker reports that the NOMbies at the peak were about 30 and that protesters numbered about 120. Of course, NOM will report 60 supporters because it appears that their counting method is to simply multiply by two (the 19 or so in Annapolis became “about 50 supporters in attendance”).
In Columbus, police set up barricades behind which protesters were required to stand. The protesters chanted and blew whistles. While that is annoying to the speakers, I’m not sure exactly what it accomplished. There’s nothing really wrong with the “hey hey ho ho” chants, but I think it would be more effective to sing We Shall Overcome. Or really annoy NOM and get a few powerful tenors to belt out Ave Maria.
But for the most part they didn’t engage in Shocking! and Outlandish! behavior that would frighten the horses (and yes, there were horses; the police were mounted.) One young lady crossed the line and was reportedly confrontational towards the people attending the NOM rally before being arrested. That was unfortunate and if NOM got any pictures or video of her, she will undoubtedly be the star of their next “I’m a victim” video.
The protest was by far the most interesting part of NOM’s event – even to NOM. Their website has no pictures of their own crowd, deciding instead to post one of the marriage supporters.
One odd thing: Brian Brown was missing from the festivities, and rumor is that he flew to California. No one seems to know why. Maybe he was too bored and depressed from no one showing up to hear him speak.
UPDATE: Here are the two sides of the story about the young lady who was arrested:
One woman, before she was escorted out of the rally by police, went through the crowd offering her hand to NOM supporters before ripping it away and cursing in their faces.
Maggie Gallagher’s version:
The protestors seemed a pretty angry lot, but mostly respected the line. (The Ohio cops were going to make sure of that!) One woman tried to incite folks to storm the podium again, but the police made that seem like a pretty bad idea.
I love cops.
Holly Hahn’s version:
This is what happened. I accidentally wandered into the NOM side of the protest. Seeing some opportunity for amusement, I wandered around inside the barricades shaking hands and introducing my self as a homosexual. One older man got upset and grabbed me and tried to wrestle me away, the cops told me to go behind the barricade and i did. Then the cops told me to leave and I refused. They dragged me away, cuffed and charged me with disorderly conduct and obstructing. I cooperated once arrested. I need ANY AND ALL pics and videos, to prove I was shaking hands, not “grabbing arms” please repost!
To clarify” I parked in the parking garage and was unsure which side of the statehouse I need to be. There were NO barricades the way I entered. I didn’t actually realize I was in NOM territory until I noticed the logo on the podium.
p.s absolutely nothing happened to the old man who grappled with me, but i think they recorded me cussing at him to GTFO me, unfortunately. I am truly sorry if my um..unrestrained comments while being assaulted are used in a way that is detrimental to the cause. The fact is I am woman, 5’0 and there was a man grabbing and grappling with me and police yelling at me. I was scared and angry.
p.p.sYes, It wasn’t premeditated. I have done many many protests and actions over the years, but really this time I just wandered into the wrong side and decided to run with it. I can’t let anyone go through their life saying they haven’t met a queer. It’s kind of my policy. So I started shaking hands.
Putting myself in the public eye doesn’t scare me a bit. I am who I am.
I refuse to be afraid and unlike the anonymous donors to Prop 8 and other hate legislation, I am true enough to my beliefs to put my real name on them.
My name is Holly Hahn. I am a lesbian. I am not scared of police, social disapproval or bigots stalking me.
I believe that the time for Mr/s Nice Gay is over. I’m tired of endless attacks against our lives. I don’t want them to feel safe behind the barricade- why should they get the privilege of feeling safe when their words or hate make our brothers and sisters UNsafe?
I will cross barricades again, and I am hoping to organize a courthouse sit in on my court date
I bring you two messages from the National Organization for Marriage. The first is from Maggie Gallagher:
My message to the protestors: Hate is not a family value. The 62 percent of Ohioans who came together across lines of race, creed and color to vote for marriage are not haters, and it’s wrong to portray them, or the American people that way.
The second I bring from NOM’s Facebook page. The site is heavily edited by NOM’s associates and only the messages that the administrators want there remain. What follows is the comments to this post. (I left nothing out so as not to appear to be cherry picking the worst)
Daniel Rowinski: ugh i find out my city of Cleveland will host the gay games of 2014.
Theresa Preece: The Gay Games?
John Ozanich: Gay Olympics
Theresa Preece: Yes, I know. SO many comments….
Danielle Burke: That is extremely disappointing :(
John Ozanich: all about money
Tara J Later: Oh, now that is beyond funny. The thing that comes to mind is the javelin throw on the movie ” Revenge of the Nerds”. Let’s get the aerodinamics right. I’m rotfl, big time.
Minister Dixon: ”The Gay Games?” Yeah, now I’ve heard everything. How are Gay Games different from other games?
John Acker: Do the males (they are anything but men) compete in accessorizing and lisping?
John Ozanich: you ever see Jesse Owens do a 500 yard sprint wearing a feathered pink boa ?
Tara J Later: @ Min. Dixon….I think I have the answer to that question. The uniforms are tighter and shorter, to make sure they show every part of the body as much as possible. That’s the difference. And the uniforms will be flaming loud.
Minister Dixon: John do you want my turkey sandwich to come back up? LOL
Minister Dixon: @ Tara, if it’s anything like their parades, you may have a point there :)
Tara J Later: I do have to admit, that everyone of my homosexual friends have great taste in style… Only one is on the loud side, but none of them want marriage. It’s quite interesting that they aren’t on the band wagon.
Nick Jones: Do these games consist of slapping fights, sex in public and who can say ‘hey’ the gayest?
Nick Jones: Do these games consist of slapping fights, sex in public and seeing who can say ‘hay’ the gayest?
John Ozanich: no, that’s Congress, Nick…
Minister Dixon: LOL, hey John, you’re not well, hahaha
And now my message to the Maggie: Hate is not a family value. It is true that not all of the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted to deny equality to their gay neighbors are haters, but many of the people who support the National Organization for Marriage and who participate at your Facebook page are.
A Summer FOR Marriage tour
July 22nd, 2010
I’m not sure how this slipped my attention, but Freedom to Marry is doing a Summer for Marriage tour that mirrors the locations selected by NOM. Except, of course, Freedom to Marry’s tour actual is for marriage, not for marriage restriction.
And it seems that Freedom to Marry events actually have people show up. Unlike NOM’s event in the empty plaza in Annapolis (you have to see the video: there was literally no one standing in the plaza in the sun when the event started), there were about a hundred people at 7 different events across the city. More ministers showed up for Equality Maryland’s Pride in Faith program than did total people attending NOM’s plaza event.
For more info, check out their site.
Yet again the National Organization for Marriage demonstrates that they have no integrity
July 22nd, 2010
There are pictures and video from the National Organization for Marriage’s tour stop in Trenton, New Jersey. I took the broadest photograph, compared it to the others and to the video, and counted 63 people. Including the half-dozen Knights of Columbus that stood behind the speakers, it would be safe to say that at no point at NOM’s rally were there over 80 people present.
Here’s what Brian Brown claimed:
Thanks to all of you who came out for the Summer for Marriage rally at the State House in Trenton. We had about 120 people take time off work and give up their lunch break to come stand for marriage in New Jersey.
At some point, doesn’t he get embarressed?
Oh, but it gets worse. In his Trenton recap video he claims,
Literally, thousands of Americans have stood up in the past few days to say we know what marriage is, marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
Not even by Brian’s wildly exaggerated, totally false, counts. So far he has claimed inflated numbers of: Augusta 200; Manchester 150-200; Albany 100; Providence 200-250; and Trenton 120; for a complete tour audience of 770 to 890 for their first five stops. Not exactly “thousands”, literally or otherwise.
Not only can the tourists on NOM’s Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas not count, they can’t add either. Or they simply have no integrity at all.
PFOX Prez Greg Quinlan’s dating criteria
July 21st, 2010
The Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-gays (PFOX) is tiny, but interesting, anti-gay group. They are mostly disapproving parents of happily gay people who, along with an ex-gay or two, somewhat pathetically fight against the rights and freedoms of their gay children. I’m sure it must make for interesting table conversation at Thanksgiving.
Their current ex-gay is Greg Quinlan, a rather colorful fellow, who serves as their President. Quinlan’s shtick is going about claiming to be abused, mistreated, and discriminated against because he’s ex-gay. His latest amusing – but decidedly wackadoodle – effort was a disastrously unsuccessful attempt to get Pepsi to change it’s non-discrimination policy to specifically include ex-gays.
Well PFOX doesn’t do much and can’t be too time consuming. And Greg has had plenty of time on his hands since his ex-lesbian wife divorced him three years ago after a short marriage. So he thought he’d go do a little companion shopping at the National Organization for Marriage’s grand tour of empty city plazas, where Courage Campaign’s video camera caught up with him.
Quinlan shows up at the 4:39 point.
My name is Gregory Quinlan, and I’m uh.. this is PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. We advocate for the rights of former homosexuals.
If you can change from straight to gay, why can’t you change from gay to straight. That’s what I did nearly 19 years ago.
It’s a matter of choice. Now choices can be hard, choices can take a lot of effort. It did for me. But, it’s still a choice.
[videographer: Are you married?]
[videographer: Why did you make that choice?]
Well, uh the choice?
[videographer: of not being married?]
Of not being… oh, it’s not that I’ve made that choice. It’s just that if you know of anybody, send them my way. I live right here in Roxbury Township, up in North Jersey. I’ll give you my name and number afterwords, if you know of anybody who’s available.
[videographer: What does that person look like?]
Female. And breathing.
Yeah… good luck with that, Greg.
NOM’s President administers the NOM site that NOM claims is not their own
July 17th, 2010
Ya know that National Organization for Marriage Facebook page that that spews pure nastiness and contempt? The one that NOM’s PR firm claims is run by “a private party”?
The Facebook account on which these statements were reportedly made is not NOM’s Facebook page and neither NOM nor anyone representing NOM made these statements. The Facebook account in question is operated by a private party and NOM does not control what is allowed to be posted on the account…
Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman Brian: Fun rally today in Albany. Protestors came out with colored balloons and umbrellas. I posted the whole account over at the Marriage Tour blog, complete with pictures.
That “Brian” would be NOM’s president, Brian Brown.
(p.s. My favorite comment was this one… and she wrote it without irony:
Dawn Benjamin: in the end times people will call evil good and good evil. They will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money. Pray for these people and ask God for their spiritual eyes and ears to be opened. It is a spiritual warfare but God has won the Battle!)
Another bad day for the National Organization for Marriage’s Giant Flop tour
July 17th, 2010
Today NOM’s Big Bus of Animus came to Albany, NY. And the rhetoric and spin from the National Organization for Marriage is reaching comical proportions.
NOM: “Local supporters were happy with the turnout, explaining that downtown Albany is a “ghost town” on weekends.”
More NOM: “We started off in Augusta with close to 200 people on Wednesday, had roughly 150-200 in Manchester on Thursday, and around 100 in Albany today.”
Courage Campaign: “It’s fair to say that Albany turned into yet another NOM FAIL, due to the beauty of creative counter-protest and the paltry NOM attendance (Danny hand-counted 57 attendees).”
Yes, it looks like NOM continues to have problems with simple mathematics. Or perhaps they suffer from Honesty Deficiency Syndrome.
In Albany, local supporters of equality came up with a very creative way of countering NOM’s message. Inspired by their warnings of gathering storms, the community showed up with colorful umbrellas and surrounded the rally.
And NOM & crew are not happy. NOM’s Louis Marinelli is getting increasingly bitter as each day goes by.
Today he continued his pattern of putting the names and pictures of gay people on his blogsite, this time a young activist named Danny. While this is a common tactic for the some of the crazier of the anti-gay loons, I’m not sure what Marinelli is hoping to accomplish. I guess he thinks that this is still 1972 and that gay people are living in the shadows hoping no one finds out that we are gay.
He also waved his martyr flag with a little story about how some woman wasn’t able to dictate to the “rude interlopers” where they should stand or which way they should face.
Poor NOM, things aren’t going so well for them in the North East. Tiny crowds, “rude interlopers”, and unflattering photos of NOM’s Brian Brown scowling, glaring, and snarling. We’ll see how things for for them tomorrow in Rhode Island.
Marinelly has lost it. He’s really completely lost it.
He has now dedicated an entire blog post to the fact that some counter-protester brought his dogs. Seriously.
The “families” on NOM’s Big Bus of Animus are fake,
July 16th, 2010
Anti-gay activists love to call same-sex relationships “artificial.” But those brightly smiling happy families beaming from the side of the National Organization for Marriage’s tour RV and van truly are fake.
As Jeremy at GoodAsYou.org shows, they are stock photos of models posing as families.
Oh, but when has NOM ever cared about honest representation?