Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Did anti-gay activist violate American law during trip to Russia?

Brian Brown
Neither Brian Brown nor the National Organization for Marriage is coming clean about Brown's trip to Russia where he made a speech against gay parenting, but they may have to soon.

From the Huffington Post:

National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown made a shocking claim last month that he engaged in a unpublicized trip to Moscow to meet with members of the Russian Duma in June. His intention? To collaborate on legislation that would ban gay foreigners from adopting children from the former Soviet Union.

Now, Brown is coming under fire by Fred Karger, President of Rights Equal Rights, who claims that Brown's actions to help pass this legislation with Russian officials violates The Logan Act, a federal statute that states that it is a crime for a U.S. citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interest of the United States or without authorization of the American government.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General of the United States Eric H. Holder Jr.,, Karger states:

The presentations by NOM’s Brian Brown were apparently very effective. Five days later, the Duma passed a ban on the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples and by single people living in countries that allow marriage equality.  
Immediately after Mr. Brown’s meetings and testimony in the Russian capital, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a severe crackdown on LGBT rights, affecting all LGBT visitors to Russia to include Americans.
If Mr. Brown did travel to Moscow with French religious leaders with the express intention of furthering discrimination against LGBT Russians and all LGBT travelers to Russia, this could be in direct conflict with current United States laws.

For the record, Karger has been a long-time gadfly and disruptor of NOM's goals of ending marriage equality. The former presidential candidate and gay Republican has filed many lawsuits against the organization over disclosure and campaign finance laws in states across the country.

In addition to winning a number of these lawsuits, Karger's actions has also had other negative effects on NOM. It was his lawsuit in Maine over NOM's failure to follow that state's disclosure laws which led to the discovery of the organization's infamous "wedge strategy. This strategy was designed to pit the gay and African-American communities against one another in an attempt to cause problems for President Obama's re-election campaign.

'NOM in trouble with Chicago Tribune' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

NOM's Brian Brown Falsely Attributes Hate-Group Quote To Chicago Tribune - And the Chicago Tribune is NOT happy about it. 

The Values Voter Summit is bringing anti-LGBT extremism back to the fore - Everything you wanted to know about the attendees of the Family Research Council's upcoming "Values Voter" summit. I hope you got a strong stomach and not prone to high blood pressure. 

 Knight: State Should Remove Transgender Child From Home, Charge Parents With Abuse - Robert Knight, my personal nemesis. The only religious right talking head I ever had the opportunity to question face-to-face. It was fun. And his column would be funny if he wasn't dead serious.  

‘Valentine Road’ And The Institutional Failures That Enable Anti-LGBT Bullying - This is such a sad documentary. It takes another look at the murder of high school student Lawrence “Larry” King by his classmate Brandon McInerney