Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Will DOMA be the new Terri Schiavo and other Tuesday afternoon news briefs

The Pro-Bullying Lobby: Conservative Leader Explains Why He Is Mobilizing Against Anti-Bullying Measures - Disgusting, but the first in a much needed series by Think Progress.

Dem Poll: Majority Oppose Defense of Marriage Act, Support Obama Position - Yeah I know that it's an HRC commissioned poll so some folks will scream bias, but check out the scenario here - The GOP is forced to unpopular action by its "base," - action which is opposed by a majority of Americans. DOMA has become Terri Schiavo.

Gingrich Group Funneled $125K To AFA To Remove Iowa Judges - For those keeping score - adultery nets 2 (two being the number of times Newt Gingrich cheated on his old wife with his soon-to-be new wife), impartial judges - 0.

'National Catholic Reporter': Tick tock on the 'protect marriage' clock - They won in Maryland and already they are scared. Good.

House Committee OKs End to Antigay Aid - Not bad.

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Focus on the Family's love for anti-gay bullies

Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel
Focus on the Family does not like President Obama's focus on preventing bullying. The main reason of course is because the needs of lgbt youth are talked about and as we know, anything which deals with lgbts in a positive manner gives organizations like Focus on the Family "the vapors."

Focus on the Family has spoken out against President Obama's actions.

However, as Jeremy Hooper from Goodasyou points out, it's not just how the organization wants everyone to sidestep the needs of lgbt students when it comes to stopping bullying, it's who the group is calling to assist in it's subterfuge:

The Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber.

Now for those who do not know, Barber isn't just anti-gay. He expresses opposition to the lgbt community sometimes in a manner so vindictive that he can give Fred Phelps pause. Hooper breaks it down a little:

But as for Matt, who doesn't even work for FOtF? Well let's look at some of what he's put on record. There was the time Matt said that gay male relationships constitute "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’”; the time Matt called President Barack Obama an anti-american enemy; the time he accused Obama and Barney Frank of being anti-religious bigots; the time he suggested there are "sinister motives" in the Obama White House; the time he agreed with TVC's Andrea Lafferty that homosexuality is "among a litany of...sexual deviances" that include things like sex with an amputee's stump and sexual behavior involving feces and urine; the time he likened pro-equality progressives to Fred "God Hates F*gs" Phelps; the time he referred to marriage equality advocates as "purveyors of evil"; the time he compared gay unions to marrying a house plant; the time he said Ellen Degeneres "guides her many adoring housewife fans into rebellion against God's divine and explicit natural order"; the time he called Google "satanic" for supporting marriage equality; the time he accused gay-friendly media outlets of trying "to make the absurd appear reasonable and normal"; the time he referred to the Muslim faith as "Satanic";etc., etc. More than just about anyone in the "pro-family" world (with the possible exception of Bryan Fisher), Matt has made the choice to go as personal, as negative, as hyperbolic, and as wantonly hurtful as humanly inhumanely possible. He does this on the daily. 

And let's not forget the following tweets in which Barber shows his "love" for the lgbt community (Editor's note - you may see a message saying the Barber is "protecting his tweets." Kinda proves my point, doesn't it?):
  •  January 14, 2011: “Look pal, you won’t be able to ‘ask’ or ‘tell’ if you don’t get your hand off my knee! http://yfrog.com/h4d67zoj
  •  January 25, 2011: Soldiers, does your foxhole buddy have your back or want to rub it?
  •  January 29, 2011: Drudge:”Man Subjected To Body Cavity Search At Traffic Stop.” Other News: “Barney Frank Waves Down Police in Traffic.” http://tiny.cc/spo05
  •  January 30, 2011: DADT repeal implementation underway. “Slap fighting” & “tickle parties” to be added to special forces training. http://tiny.cc/jfcdx
  •  January 31, 2011: She-male model stirs Brazil fashion show. In other news: Man buys Rolex & discovers it’s a knock-off. http://bit.ly/gxcfVW
  •  January 31, 2011: SNL skit mocking Tranny inanity has homosexual activists fuming (warning: a little crude) http://bit.ly/ewYd0A
  •  February 1, 2011: Queering the Marines: From morally upright 2 immorally down-low. From semper fidelis 2 limp-wristed fellas http://bit.ly/fBcuqH
  •  February 23, 2011: Today’s Army: Trannies, drag queens & she-males, oh my! http://tinyurl.com/6kcrssb
  •  February 25, 2011: The homofascist bullying & brainwashing begins: “Combat troops to get gay sensitivity training:” http://bit.ly/dKqh4b

A little advice to Focus on the Family - if you are going to speak against President Obama's anti-bullying initiative, perhaps its best not to seek aid from a man whose comments sound like they have been uttered from your typical school bully.

Related post - Focus On The Family Dubs Anti-Bullying Programs “Pro-Homosexual Curriculum”

Hat tip to Goodasyou and Asterik.

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A little peek at the National Organization for Marriage's questionable financial history

One has to give it to the National Organization for Marriage. In a very short time, the organization led a coalition of religious folks to stop the gay marriage vote in Maryland. This included having speakers in front of the legislature, booking itself on many local programs, mobilizing churches, and promising a huge amount of money (one million dollars) to sway legislators on future vote regarding marriage equality. Not bad.

An article earlier this year in the Iowa Independent may give a reason as to why it has been easy for NOM to be successful. In the words of a famous rapper - "cash rules everything around me:"

Three-quarters of the funding for the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit dedicated to opposing same-sex marriage, comes from just five sources, according to its most recent 2009 990 form filed with the Internal Revenue Services.

NOM spent $635,627 in Iowa in 2010 to help bankroll the successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices over a ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. In 2009, the organization spent nearly $100,000 supporting a Republican House candidate in a special legislative election. NOM has also done a series of robocalls concerning same-sex marriage and held a pair of rallies in Iowa in early August to promote their point of view.

“The National Organization for Marriage has emerged as the nation’s only major national grassroots organization dedicated to protecting marriage,” said NOM’s president and founder, Maggie Gallagher, in July 2009. NOM describes itself as “the nation’s only grassroots organization focused on the threat to marriage at state and local levels.” NOM Executive Director Brian Brown said in a January 2010 press release, “NOM’s goal is a national grassroots organization that can make a difference in all 50 states, as needed.”

However, at least in terms of funding, its donations are quite concentrated. According to its 2009 990 form (PDF) obtained by the Human Rights Campaign, NOM received $7,106,388 in donations in 2009. Three donations of $2.4 million, $1.2 million, and $1.1 million constituted 68 percent of its total donations. Two additional donations of $400,000 and $150,000 mean that three-quarters of its funding came from just five sources.

Donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax-deductible and organizations do not have to disclose their donors.

In September, reporter Jesse Zwick uncovered a $1.4 million donation from the Knights of Columbus to NOM in 2009, which does not seem to appear on the organization’s 990. NOM has a pattern of pushing the boundaries of disclosure laws: The organization sued the Rhode Island Board of Elections over the funding of ads, has been the subject of campaign finance complaints in Maine and Iowa and used a loophole in Minnesota campaign finance law all to avoid disclosure.

It's fascinating to me. Of all of the things I have written and said about religious right groups (including the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council, etc), I don't think I have ever had to focus on their finances. But questions about money and how the organization tries to skirt finance laws seems to be NOM's Achilles heel.

No doubt the organization will claim that all inquiries about its finances are made in an effort to undermine its work against marriage equality. Perhaps. But that doesn't take away from the fact that NOM has a problem being truthful about its finances.

According to the webpage nomexposed.org, in the span of four years, NOM's budget went from a little over $500,000 to $10 million.

And during that time, while the organization have had huge victories in places like California, Maine, and Maryland, it also left many raised eyebrows  regarding its ethics and financial disclosures in those places as well as in Rhode Island, Washington State, and Iowa.

Lastly, we must remember that the chairman of NOM, Maggie Gallagher herself is no stranger to ethical impropriety. In 2005, it was discovered that she received over $40,000 from the Bush Administration to promote its marriage initiatives, which she did in her supposedly objective column published in various newspapers throughout the country.

After the discovery, Gallagher said she didn't disclose the payment (again over $40,000) because "she forgot."

It's doesn't take an Einstein to realize that beneath its veneer of supposed respectability and morality, there seems to be another, more unsavory side of NOM.

And rather than blow our stacks at the organization's success, or make cute side comments about its members, maybe it's time for those of us in the community who are adept in such things to put our shoulders to the grindstone and start uncovering all of NOM's secrets.

At the very least, it will be a new goal for me.


Nomexposed - more people need to not only join AND study this site

NOM has "generously" supplied a link to all of its tax returns for those who are interested

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