Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NOM exploiting children to stop gay marriage in New York

According to Jeremy Hooper from the blog Goodasyou.org, the National Organization for Marriage is fighting against the possibility of same-sex marriage in the state of New York by running a commercial ad it used in 2009.

The commercial claims of "dire consequences" if same-sex marriage is approved in New York.

However, one of those "dire consequences" was proven to be a lie. Starting at .07 is the following claim:

 Massachusetts schools teach second graders that boys can marry other boys.

That claim is an alteration of an original claim NOM made that kindergartners were "being taught about gay marriage in Massachusetts."

In February of this year, the Pulitzer Prize winning site PolitiFact called out the National Organization for Marriage for pushing that misleading statement.

At the time, NOM was fighting the passage of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The organization sent out brochures claiming:

"Massachusetts’ public schools teach kids as young as kindergartners about gay marriage. Parents have no legal right to object!"

During the investigation of this claim, PolitiFact talked to:
  • Christopher C. Plante, executive director of the Rhode Island Chapter of NOM,
  • Kris Mineau, executive director of the Massachusetts Family Institute,
  • Jonathan Considine of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,
  • the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum,
  • the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and
  • Thomas Gosnell, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts.

PolitiFact concluded that NOM's claim was inaccurate:

Bottom line: The National Organization for Marriage mailing says that Massachusetts public schools teach kindergartners about gay marriage. The wording, including the present tense verb, gives the impression this is happening now, in many schools.

But the group’s only evidence is two incidents five years ago. It’s possible that somewhere, in one of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, other kindergartners have been taught about same-sex marriage. But NOM couldn’t cite any other examples. We find its statement False.

So other than changing the grades of the children, NOM is still pushing a misleading implication that "being taught about gay marriage" is part of the Massachusetts school curriculum.

In the commercial aimed at New York, NOM also cites the story of children in California attending the gay wedding of their teacher as yet "another danger" of gay marriage. However, NOM conveniently omitted the fact that parents gave their children permission to attend this wedding.

The irony of NOM's commercial is that earlier today, the organization announced a $500,000 ad campaign geared to stopping the passage of gay marriage in New York.

NOM's tactics are more sophisticated, but they still add up to the lie told by Anita Bryant  regarding children and "gay recruitment" when she led opposition against a Florida pro-gay ordinance in the 70s

No doubt the organization figures if pushing the implication of  "gays recruiting children" worked for Bryant, then why can't it work for them.

Especially in light of the fact that NOM has more money to finance this lie.

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NOM brags about NY finances, but omits questionable history of bad ethics

This just came in from NOM's blog:

The National Organization of Marriage today announced that it is spending $500,000 on a new ad and lobbying campaign to oppose same-sex marriage in New York and will spend $1 million to support Democratic State Legislators who cast their votes to defend the traditional definition of marriage and oppose any Republican Legislators who vote to redefine marriage.

“It’s become quite clear in recent days in New York that Governor Cuomo and same-sex marriage advocates are targeting a select number of Democrat state Senators, as well as some Republicans in their desperate attempt to coerce legislators to support their agenda,” said Brian Brown, President of NOM. “We want to be sure those courageous Democrats and Republicans who cast their vote of conscience in favor of traditional marriage will have a strong supporter if the radical gay activists come after them in their next election.”

I found the following part of the press release to be very interesting in light of how NOM called HRC "bullies" for its role in keeping the law firm King & Spalding from defending DOMA.

NOM pledged to vigorously oppose in their primaries any Republicans who support gay marriage. NOM previously played a leading role in defeating former Representative Dede Scozzafava in her Congressional primary bid. NOM has a long history of defeating Republicans who support same-sex marriage. They led the campaign to defeat Bill Binnie in New Hampshire and Tom Campbell in California US Senate primaries last year, and defeated legislators in Minnesota and New Hampshire who supported same-sex marriage there.

I guess things are different from when you are "bullying for Jesus."

NOM should be advised of the Biblical verse about how "pride goeth before a fall." To wit, this bragging by Brown of NOM's dedication in New York will no doubt raise questions regarding NOM's not-so clean, very questionable history regarding its ethics and its history of trying to sidestep state disclosure laws, which has gone hand-in-hand with NOM's "victories" against marriage equality. It's already happened six times.

A Christian organization fighting for the sanctity of a "noble entity" like marriage shouldn't have such a spotty history. I would like to know just what is NOM hiding.

According to the Minnesota Independent:

When the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads promoting a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions last fall, the groups should have reported those expenditures, according to a complaint filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board earlier this month. The complaint, which focuses on ads launched throughout the 2010 campaign cycle in support of gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, asks for financial penalties as well as an audit of NOM’s spending in Minnesota.

The filing by Common Cause Minnesota alleges that the Minnesota Family Council — and in particular its lobbyist, Tom Prichard — failed to report lobbying expenses related to several ads. Since the ad urged the public and legislators to act on legislation, in this case a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, it constitutes lobbying, the group argues in the complaint. The ads in question include references to an actual bill, SF120, and were created and distributed in partnership with NOM.

NOM's passive/aggressive exploitation of its supporters

Brian Brown of NOM
Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage claims that the organization has no animus against the lgbt community. They claim that the organization is only interested in "protecting marriage."

Gallagher herself has asserted on more than one occasion (usually in mainstream interviews or in public hearings but hardly ever when being interviewed by members of the religious right) that she has no problems with same-sex couples.

It's passive/aggressive nonsense. And that is NOM's game plan. Unlike other organizations such as the Family Research Council or the Traditional Values Coalition, NOM tries to make itself seem like a "kindler, gentler" opponent of marriage equality, i.e. lgbt equality in general.

But it's like what I have said when talking about Mike Huckabee - sometimes the most dangerous form of homophobia is wrapped in a soft glove.

A perfect example is the following on NOM's blog:

AG Eric Holder Refuses to Enforce Federal Immigration Rules on Marriage, Invites NJ to Redefine "Spouse"

In what's being called an "extraordinary" intervention, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder vacated a Board of Immigration Appeals decision last week and asked the Board to reconsider a case concerning a foreign-born man facing deportation who acquired a New Jersey civil union with another man, who is an American citizen:
[AG Holder] inquires if, DOMA Section 3 not withstanding, there is any New Jersey state law that would grant the men the right to be considered spouses. He goes on to ask whether, absent of DOMA, the couple fulfills all other criteria that would grant the foreign-born partner the term spouse under the Immigration and Nationality Act... --Care2

The case NOM is talking about is a recent one involving a married gay couple in which one is not a United States citizen and therefore is facing deportation:

The couple, Josh Vandiver of Colorado and Henry Velandia of Venezuela, were married in Connecticut and live in New. Jersey. On April 20, Soloway received a notice from the chief counsel of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that "termination of [Velandia's] removal proceedings would not be appropriate at this time because "the Attorney General released a statement in which he indicated that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) 'will continue to be enforced by the Executive Branch'" -- despite Holder's decision in that same statement that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional.

Soloway and others have argued, however, that the discretion given to the executive branch in its enforcement of immigration law allows it to exercise the discretion to put those cases on hold while challenges to the constitutionality of DOMA can be resolved.

Had the couple been heterosexual, the marriage would have been enough to keep deportation from taking place.

Notice what the NOM did. It just put out a tad bit of information. No making judgements. No comments about how this hurts marriage. No mean words.

Like a stereotypical mafia chief, NOM leaves all of that dirty work to those who support it by way of the comments section below the post. A few comments are as follows:

Wow. Is there really that much money flowing in from homosexuals to waste taxpayer money on this? Keep it up, Holder; November 2012 is coming soon.

This administration has less respect for democracy and law than any administration in history. If you don't like a law personally, simply ignore it.

Heh. I thought SSM activists keep saying that gays will uphold and strengthen the tradition of marriage by Only Getting Married For The Sake Of Love And Faithfulness and not, say, marrying for wealth, fame, or U.S. Citizenship.
. . . Now another reason why SSM hurts is becasue they can marry in a state like CT, and use that marriage to violate the laws of another state, and to violate the US immigration laws.
Holder should resign.
And there you go. NOM's hands are clean. Why should it be blamed for the words of those who support the organization's efforts?

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Uganda 'kill the gays' bill may soon be law and other Tuesday midday news briefs

UGANDA PARLIAMENT MAY VOTE ON ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL TOMORROW! - Yes, we are THERE in Uganda - homophobia at it's deadliest form.

House Defense Committee will vote on anti-gay amendments on Wed - Dumb, dumb, dumb. Let it go guys. DADT was repealed.

Audio: The excessively condemnatory voice of North Carolina's 'protect marriage' movement - It's not just about "protecting marriage" as this post proves. It's about demonizing lgbts.

Adoption issue strikes home for new state rep - I don't care what religion you are. You take state monies, you follow state rules.

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Putting an African-American face on gay marriage

I got this from Jonathan Capehart of  The Washington Post:

A new documentary looks at the black-gay civil rights divide by centering on Massachusetts Rep. Byron Rushing (D) during the commonwealth’s push to legalize same-sex marriage. The African American legislator eloquently weaves the two movements together in the 15-minute film. Following a screening of the movie last month, I moderated a panel discussion at Aaron Davis Hall in New York City that looked at the marriage equality push in New York state from a black perspective. The panel was filled with luminaries, including media and fashion mogul Russell Simmons. But the star of the event was a soft-spoken man named David Wilson.

In the film, Wilson tells the heartbreaking story about the death of his then-partner. The trauma of finding him lying in the driveway. The terror of being arrested by the police on suspicion of breaking and entering or assault and battery before neighbors convinced police otherwise. The indignity of being denied information by the hospital because he was a legal stranger to his partner. Only after his partner’s 75-year-old mother told the hospital who Wilson was did they inform him that his partner of 13 years was dead on arrival.
Wilson swore he’d never go through that again. And he would find love again. In 2003, he and Rob Compton became one of the seven same-sex couples to sue for and win the right to marry in the 2003 landmark Goodridge vs. the Department of Health case.

In the panel discussion, Wilson gives a powerful reason “to put a black face on the Marriage Equality movement," including this heartbreaking passage of what happened at his church when he came out at age 37:

I was married to a woman, had three beautiful children and finally came to terms with being gay at the age of 37. My ex-wife and three teen age children supported my coming out process as did my Mother and Father. My mother met with her pastor to ask for his support and to also ask that he stop preaching hatred from his pulpit. My mother and father had been a member of their Black church for over 40 years but the pastor said he could not support her or me. My mother was forced to leave her church because she could not bear the hurtful messages delivered every Sunday. When my mother had a heart attack 15 years later with five subsequent congestive heart failures, she came to my house for her final 11 weeks under hospice care. She asked me to call her home church Pastor to ask him to come and [have] prayer with her. He refused and sent his associate pastor. When my mother passed away, she wanted to be buried from her home church but her pastor agreed to the funeral but refused to allow me to deliver my mother’s eulogy. After an all-out effort by my mother’s flower club, deaconess board and ladies club, he reluctantly agreed that I could deliver the eulogy from the lowest of the three pulpits, which I was willing to do for my mother.

After my mother’s funeral, my dad never went back to his or any church with the exception of the day that he attended my legal wedding to my husband, Rob Compton. Dad was 89 and could not have been more proud of our role as plaintiffs in the Massachusetts marriage law suit which resulted in the right for us to marry.

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