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NOM Launches “Summer for Marriage” Tour – And We’re Going to Track Them

NOM Tour Tracker Right-wing

by Robert Cruickshank

Maggie Gallagher, the Chair of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), was beside herself last Thursday after a federal court judge ruled that the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) was unconstitutional. As she said in a press release last Thursday:

Does this federal judge want to start another culture war? Does he really want another Roe. v. Wade?… Only an incompetent defense could have lost this case. We expect to win in a higher court.

Maggie Gallagher and NOM’s supporters on the religious right know that the DOMA ruling is a serious setback and a troubling sign that momentum is slipping away from them. They also know that, in the battle for hearts and minds, state-by-state, community-by-community, they are losing.

So, taking a page from the Tea Party, NOM is launching an unprecedented “Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman” tour across the country this Wednesday to rally their troops, change the narrative in the media, and swing momentum back to their side.

We’re can’t let NOM go unchallenged. That’s why we are sending our staffers on the road for the next month to track every moment of NOM’s month-long tour — and tell the truth to the American people. You’ll be able to see it all on a new NOM Tour Tracker that we’re going to launch as part of this blog.

The NOM Tour Tracker campaign is the next phase in our “Testimony: Equality on Trial” year-long project to bring the federal Prop 8 trial into the lives of the American people. Here’s how we’re going to track this tour.

Working closely with Freedom to Marry and our friends organizing for equality in communities across the country, our staffers will do much more than just hold NOM accountable for their propaganda campaign. Our NOM Tour Trackers will also:

• Mobilize Courage members in each community to organize their own events at each tour stop, in collaboration with local organizations

• Collect the “testimony” of people and families impacted by the lack of full equality in America

• Organize and present live reenactments of the Prop 8 trial, which you’ll see on our Equality on Trial website

I saw that some of you have already been discussing this in the comments, and some have already donated. On behalf of the Courage Campaign, we thank you for that support. We’ve budgeted $35,000 to track the NOM tour. An anonymous donor has offered to put up $17,500 if we can raise enough money to match it.

Please help us launch this project by making a tax-deductible contribution today.

Here’s the list of locations the NOM tour is going to hit. (Note: the link takes you to the NOM site, so you may want to have some hand sanitizer and clothespins ready.) The tour is focused on the Northeast and the Midwest, perhaps a sign that NOM feels these areas are moving toward equality and away from their discriminatory agenda. It concludes on August 15 on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington DC.

Courage Campaign staff and local equality advocates along the route will be tracking this tour and bringing you the stories and statements – the testimony – of this tour. Thanks to those of you who have already donated to help us launch this project. I hope others can make a tax-deductible contribution as well, so that we can get this project under way!

214 Comments

  • 1. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Yay for anti-NOM tours!

    (nothing about subscribing, hehehe)

  • 2. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Actually, before I visit NOM's website, I always make sure I have hand sanitizer, clothespins, and my anti-nausea medication handy, as well as my blood pressure meds.

  • 3. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Also, anyone who is in the Raleigh area, or is planning to be, please get in touch with me, Felyx, or Papa Foma. NOM has a stop scheduled in Raleigh on Tuesday, August 10, and we would like to have as large a crowd to refute their lies as we can have there. Thanks!

  • 4. bJason  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Keep me posted on where they will show themselves in Atlanta – I can't stand to go to their site again – I will be there to counter!!!!

  • 5. Ben  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I am unfortunately out of town during their stop in my home town of Saint Paul. They are very lucky that I will be in Urbana on the 28th, or they would be facing some extreme truth-telling. I wonder what they'll do about the fact that the Democrats staunchly support marriage equality …

  • 6. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I will PM you on FB. That work for you?

  • 7. Ben  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Actually, what's even funnier is, they're protesting in front of the Capitol, instead of the Cathedral … which is up the hill.

  • 8. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:36 am

    August 7 from 2-3PM. Exact location to be determined.

  • 9. fiona64  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Fascinating! Their "tour of the US" does not seem to come west of the Mississippi at all — and the planned stops are known conservative cities. I guess that's because they know they'd have their backsides handed to them in places like the SF Bay Area.

    Represent, y'all (as they say in the modern parlance), for those of us who cannot be there.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 10. Bolt  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:55 am

    LOL. They're skipping over Vermont, and Massachusetts. Don't they know that defenders of traditional marriage are plump, juicy morsels for cannibals.

  • 11. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

    They may get a little surprise when they go to Charleston West-by-God-Virginia. Those mountaineers don't take very kindly to people coming in and telling them what to do. And it doesn't matter if they agree with your viewpoint or not. After all, this was the state that seceded from the state that seceded, mainly because they never did believe that one person should own another person as property.
    And I know they will get a surprise in Raleighwood, NC. After all, whether anybody else shows up or not, BZ and I will be there, and neither one of us is known to have chains on our mouths. And I do believe that Felyx will be there also. Have we got anyone else who wants to join the NC branch of the choir so we can make sure the song is sung loudly?

  • 12. Sagesse  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

    What if, in every location when the NOM bus stops, the LGBT community shows up en masse, with their families: spouses, kids, parents, siblings, grandparents and allies. Maybe have a giant picnic. Just let NOM try to claim they own the definition of marriage and family. Bring out the cameras and the press.

    Get a permit, no rudeness or shouting or picketing, just a demonstration of family.

  • 13. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

    They are also avoiding the dragon areas. Could it be that they have finally begun to realize that they are crispy and taste better with ketchup?

  • 14. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Lovely idea, Sagesse. And I think I know some rather prominent North Carolina business owners who would love to bring their twins with them. Think I will have to contact them this week.

  • 15. Dave in Maine  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:15 am

    They are kicking this mess off in Augusta, Maine and I will be there!!

    Anyone else going to Augusta, Maine, this Wednesday? Drop me a line at my website!

    Dave
    Orono, Maine

  • 16. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:19 am

    They aren't even coming to the big red state of TX…

  • 17. JonT  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:23 am

    (チャンネル登録)

  • 18. Michelle Evans  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Here's an idea: How about a move from the playbook that was used to help drown out the Phelps crowd when they tried to picket at events surrounding the Matthew Shepard trial, and things of that nature.

    When Phelps put up his people and his signs, the anti-Phelps people (begun by Romaine Patterson) came up with the idea of the Action Angels. They used sheets and PVC pipe to create angel wings, and then surrounded the WBC jerks, which then blocked them and their hatred from those outside.

  • 19. Michelle Evans  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Which brings up a good question that just occurred to my wife and I: What exactly is the difference between Phelps and his ilk, and Maggie and hers? None that we can see. Maybe we need to start actively treating them as we would if Phelps were coming to town.

  • 20. Paul  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Maggles is coming to St. Paul? I live in Minneapolis and would LOVE to squash the Maggot! Sigh, I'll probably just have to leave it at peacefully protesting the Maglet and her misnamed atrocity known, ironically, as "NOM"….

    NOM's July 28 visit to the Twin Cities is on my calendar!

  • 21. Kim  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

    It's interesting that they are going after smaller cities like Des Moines and completely skipping Chicago and larger areas. They also have Madison WI on the list which is a strong LGBT area.

  • 22. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    *comes up for air*

    This is the only kind of NOM that I like. ;-D

    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMWi7CLoZ2Q&hl=en_US&fs=1]

  • 23. Alan E.  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

    (Me neither)

  • 24. Ronnie  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hey Maggie are you trying to start a holy/civil war? Advocating that the government force us, LGBT & our heterosexual both religious & non-religious supporters, to live our personal lives according to your religious scriptures, doctrines, ideology, & beliefs violating our 1st & 14th amendment rights?

    The Jury is in…& they have released two rulings…Yes you are trying to start a holy/civil war & you are full of shite…<3…Ronnie

  • 25. Bolt  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

    It's a good idea, but you give them too much credit. I would arrive with a few air horns, and blast them for the entire hour.

    Can you imagine the garbage that will fly out of their mouths? Every sentence would have the words man and woman, pro-create, vote, and channel.

  • 26. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I hate to burden Kathleen with another legal question, BUT…

    If I stood in their audience with my middle finger raised high over my head, could I get arrested?

    They are in Providence this weekend. I may have the nerve.

  • 27. Felyx  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Actually it would be better if we started our Raleigh Rally a week in advance! In fact it would be awesome for all the cities to create really hostile environments in advance as a welcome for NOM.

    Looking forward to the excitement!
    Felyx

  • 28. truthspew  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Damn, they're doing it from 2-3PM on July 18th in Providence. I'll be at work but I might just do a half day so I can be there to shut the bigots down.

  • 29. PamC  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Providence? My wife & I will stand next to you and lend our fingers for support as well. We have been "civilized" (civil union) for nearly 4 years, and are going to get married on the anniversary of our CU this year: August 5th. I'll be damned if MG rains on our parade, bringing her "gathering storm" so close to Connecticut.

  • 30. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I am thinking about dusting off my bible and white collared suit and going out and sarcastically spoof preach against fornicating shrimp and abominable polyblended long pants. (Good looking men should NOT be wearing long loose polyblended pants…God would rather see them walking around in pure cotton underwear. I am sure of it!!!)

    If nothing else I would rail at the top of my lungs against women who have had children out of wedlock rallying against men getting into wedlock!!!

    Repent, Maggie! The Lord will send you to hell for mixing the races…Christians marrying Hindus are an ABOMINATION!!! And put your smelly feet back in your shoes before you kill off all of our beautiful Crepe Myrtles!

    Ғĕłỹҳ

  • 31. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

    It would be awesome to see so many people standing around (not yelling or protesting) but just passionately gay kissing while the bus crawled at an excruciating 1 mph…..that would be a sight!!! Silent PDA protesting!!! Silent but really hot!

    Ғĕłỹҳ

    (Aerial cameras would see this huge bubble open up as Skanky walked around with her shoes off….can't blame anyone for not wanting to have that rub up against them!)

  • 32. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Hot hunky Angel studs making out with each other all over the place….I will think I have died and gone to heaven!!!

    (It would be Hell for Maggie though!)

    Ғĕłỹҳ

  • 33. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Write 'First Amendment' on your middle finger first.

    😛 Ғĕłỹҳ

  • 34. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:46 am

    There is a Storm Gathering….and it smells like Maggie!

    I'm afraid…that she is going to have to move her skanky ass right along out of there!

    Kirill has promised to NOT protest her….if she goes to Russia. (He does not promise to not post a sign that says 'Lesbian Eater' in Russian on her back though!!!)

    😛 Ғĕłỹҳ

  • 35. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

    AND I won't be as descrete as Lindsay Lohan!

  • 36. Ronnie  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

    nom nom nom nom nom nom nom….<3…Ronnie

  • 37. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Congratulations Pam! Welcome to our 'exclusive' club! (?)

  • 38. Dave in Maine  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Yes, I noticed that too! I wonder why they aren't going to California-surely there are very conservative places there. Why not Utah? Very bizarre interpretation of a tour of America…

    I can't wait for them to show their faces here in Maine on Wednesday. The people in Maine, and the rest of the country, have to know that NOM and all the other groups have plans for EVERYONE who is not in a traditional man-woman marriage. And this includes people who want to divorce or have children out of wedlock. It's not just the gays.

    Dave in Maine

  • 39. Dave in Maine  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I can spare a vacation day, so I'll drive down the 95 for about an hour or so to wear red and show solidarity in Augusta this Wednesday.

    We'll show them here in New England, the fools.

    Dave in Maine

  • 40. Ronnie  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    There is also this…Freedom to Marry will also be going on a summer for marriage tour to counter NOM….<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.freedomtomarry.org/page/s/summerformar

  • 41. Dpeck  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

    YES!! Remember a while back when I reported about the huge pro-gay turnout at Westboro High School when Phelps was planning to show up? It was AWESOME! Our anti-Phelps-protest turned into a huge, wonderful celebration of equality and human dignity from a vast cross section of people, from queer kidz to old activists to a massive show of support from our straight allies. The event really gave my attitude a boost and renewed my commitment to the cause of marriage equality. I strongly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend one of the NOM stops to make plans to show up with as many people as possible and speak up for those of us who cannot attend. You will be glad you did it. Then come back here and tell us all about it!!

  • 42. USMC  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

    That simply demonstrates their strategy to pick and choose where they 'have support' rather than rely on a consensus against same-sex marriage that they claim exists.

  • 43. PamC  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

    LOL, thanks Ray! Can't wait for the day when the whole family is allowed to join!

  • 44. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

    If I do go, and I do bring a poster, I'll put a small "PamC" in the bottom corner.

  • 45. Dpeck  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I just made another $100 donation.

    Who's gonna match me?

  • 46. Ray in MA  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

    USMC, I just learned something:

    Put it as "Equal Marriage" or "Marriage Equality"… not 'Gay Marriage" or :Same Sex Marriage"… as we learned in polls and the DADT survey … the way we say it has a big impact…
    http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/talking-about

    Recall the two DADT polls where the questions was stated as "Homosexual Service Members" vs "Gay Service Members" .. big difference in the results!

  • 47. Ben  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Technically, by visiting Saint Paul, they're going west of the Mississippi, but also staying to the east of it, because of their location. The river does a complete S-bend through the metro area.

  • 48. Billy  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    So, I just came across this facebook page that had NOM logos all over it… http://www.facebook.com/oneman.onewoman?v=wall and I wondered if it was an official affiliate of NOM or some right-wing whack job hijacking. Nope, it's official. The proof is here: www (dot) goodasyou (dot) org/good_as_you/2010/06/exclusive-national-org-for-marriage-officially-linked-to-louis-gays-want-prostitution-pedophilia-and-polygamy-marinelli.html

    (Sorry I hate moderation)

    It is headed by someone named Louis Marinelli, and according to the page I kinda-linked above, he's the person in charge of NOM's pet project NOM Mystery Machine of Hate. He's actually on tour with the bus, and if you read the facebook page or view the video on the other link (where he says gays are pushing the 3 P's: prostitution, pedophilia, and polygamy), you'll see a lot of the stuff he puts out there is down right hate speech.

    Well, when his little tour comes to Indy near the end of July, I'll be ready… with placards blasting his name as a messenger of hate and vitriol.

    Oh, and by the way… 5 hours ago, in New Jersey, someone slashed a tire on the NOM Mystery Machine. Just letting you know…

  • 49. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    The term "Marriage Equality" seems to be taking hold and I for one think it is a very important message.

  • 50. Billy  |  July 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I just made a huge reply with lots of links. Please approve it, mods. It has lots of valuable information concerning this Louis Marinelli kid, who he is, and what his motives may be. When it posts, anyone willing to help me piece together the puzzle… please assist.

  • 51. Kathleen  |  July 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I'm part of the gathering storm of subscribers.

  • 52. WeAreFamily  |  July 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    http://www.topwraps.com/wrap-gallery.asp?cid=4

    I think someone should wrap their bus (overnight?) in exactly the same design, but with a same sex couple and their kids.

  • 53. Michelle Evans  |  July 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    August 5th! Cool. Couldn't choose a better date. It happens to be my birthday, so I will be honored to have you be married and share that special day with me. (It also happens to be the birthday of our first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong!)

  • 54. WeAreFamily  |  July 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Or…Courage Campaign should get an identical bus, wrap it in the same exact design (but with a same sex couple), and caravan/follow the NOM bus wherever it goes.

  • 55. Ronnie  |  July 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Louis Marinelli is one of the admins of that page along with James Preece, Nick Jones, & Serena Nino & they all support murder & violence towards Gay people.

    >( ….Ronnie

  • 56. Kathleen  |  July 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    For anyone who follows the activities of the remarkable mayor of Newark – Cory Booker, check out the statements he made on his facebook page today in support of marriage equality! He's getting a lot of flack from some of his religious supporters.

  • 57. Kathleen  |  July 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Check out Cory Booker's video on "Freedom to Marry"
    http://www.freedomtomarry.org/video/entry/cory-bo

  • 58. Kathleen  |  July 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Embed code???

    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeT7yJ7SrE4&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

  • 59. Owen  |  July 12, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I'd consider it. I was thinking about a trip down that way, anyway.

  • 60. Owen  |  July 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    *sigh* Looks like no one here is from Maryland (or even the DC area).

  • 61. bJason  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks!

    I got that much. I'm interested in the Where.

    FB PM will be great, thanks!

  • 62. Franck  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    On one side, seeing pictures of them spouting hate might damage my mood for days… on the other side, if anyone manages to put up a brilliant way to counter them, I insist on being told! Even more: I insist on seeing it happen!

    Too bad they won't show up in California, heh. I know enough people there to start a sizeable counter-protest.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1117 days, as of today.

  • 63. Dave in Maine  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    One thing we were told during the campaign here in Maine last year is that we should always use the term "marriage equality." Saying "gay marriage" might mean a special marriage for gay people to some who we talk to. "Marriage equality" aims to convey the message that it will be the same marriage for all.

    Dave in Maine

  • 64. Dave in Maine  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Ugh….I was just looking at that Facebook page and I was reminded of all the crap that was on the Yes on 1 page last year. Same old crap. It's funny that someone called us "the sodomites." I think I saw them at the Palladium in '74……

    Sometimes I miss teh Facebook and sometimes I'm glad I deleted myself

    Dave in Maine

  • 65. Dave in Maine  |  July 12, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    To anyone else going to a counter-rally: If you are going to a planned event organized by an equality group, has that group suggested that you leave before the NOM rally starts?

    There is an article about tomorrow's event in the Bangor Daily News and can be found here: ow dot ly/2aGXx

    I don't suggest you read the comments, though. While there is a lot of support, there is a lot of the same ol' blood-boiling crap.

    Dave in Maine

  • 66. PamC  |  July 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Ray: cool beans; we'll write Ray in MA on ours!

    Michelle: We're honored as well. Happy b-day in advance! & thanks for the Neil A. tip-off–I'm a space baby, both my dad and step-dad worked for NASA in the 60's. Watched a lot of rocket launches, growing up in Florida!

  • 67. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    DADT Trial Begins Tuesday
    By Andrew Harmon and Michelle Garcia
    DADT X390 (PHOTOS.COM) | ADVOCATE.COM
    A long-pending lawsuit challenging the constitutionality “don’t ask, don’t tell” will finally be heard in a Southern California federal courtroom Tuesday.

    Opening statements in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America will begin at 9 a.m. Pacific time (Visit Advocate.com and The Advocate’s Twitter page for updates on the proceedings). Log Cabin Republicans will argue in the nonjury trial before U.S. district judge Victoria A. Phillips that the 1993 law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military violates constitutional protections of due process and free speech.

    Though President Barack Obama has publicly stated both his opposition to the law and his support for its repeal, the Justice Department is defending the policy in court after previous failed attempts to dismiss the suit.

    “Though times may have blinded the Congress that enacted DADT to this truth, all available evidence, both at the time of enactment and since, shows that DADT is a law that serves only to oppress,” attorney Dan Woods, who represents the national gay Republican organization, wrote in a pretrial memorandum.

    Log Cabin also contends that its standing to sue the government, one now at the center of a heated legislative repeal effort on Capitol Hill, rests on its members who are current, retired, or former members of the armed services. Attorneys identify two specific service members adversely affected by the policy: Lt. Colonel “John Doe,” who recently completed a tour of duty in Iraq, remains in the military and thus has been granted anonymity in legal proceedings; and J. Alexander Nicholson, the executive director of Servicemembers United, who was discharged from the Army in 2002.

    Log Cabin spokesman Charles Moran said a federal judge in Los Angeles originally assigned to the case in 2004 had retired and that the suit was then reassigned to Judge Phillips in Riverside, Calif.

    "It would be preferable for 'don't ask, don't tell’ to be repealed legislatively, but while there is legislation moving through now, President Obama has said he would veto the defense authorization bill if it contains too much pork, which will basically sink what our community is trying to do," Moran said.

    The suit puts needed pressure on DADT repeal, Log Cabin argues. “We believe our case can work in concert with the legislative process that is now underway,” the group said in a recent press release. “We must remember that the legislation is conditional upon the House and Senate passing their own bills, and then coming together in a conference committee to work out the details of a final bill that will then have to pass both chambers.”

    Log Cabin’s legal team has a lengthy list of both expert witnesses and former service members affected by the policy, including Lt. Jenny Kopfstein and Maj. Mike Almy, both of whom testified about DADT repeal before the Senate Armed Service Committee in March.

    Expert witnesses in the plaintiffs’ list submitted to the court include Palm Center director Aaron Belkin and Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America.

    By all accounts the Justice Department will not put any witnesses on the stand to defend DADT; it has argued that the law is constitutional if Congress passed it in 1993 with a rational intent to secure an effective and cohesive military. But Judge Phillips has indicated she will allow court evidence arising after 1993, as court cases decided after DADT went into effect have raised the level of scrutiny for laws that perpetrate antigay discrimination.

    “[The Justice Department] is fighting this case tooth and nail by getting us completely thrown out, but at the same time, it's questionable that they're not putting up more of a robust defense,” Moran said. http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/1

    Another trial to watch….
    <3 Rhonda

  • 68. Ben  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Maggie pretty much sums up her entire argument, as well as the entire argument for her whole movement: Only an incompetent defense could have lost this case.
    Well, if it was anything like the defense during the Prop 8 trial, then yeah, it was incompetent. And how does she expect to win in a higher court if their defense is incompetent? Their arguments don't hold up, they don't stand up to the facts stacked against them. They are fighting a losing battle and know it. At this point, they are just out to milk the movement for all it's got and suck all their supporters dry. Wait…that doesn't sound right.

  • 69. PamC  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I think she's trying to make the point that the Obama administration's defense was weak, that they didn't really give it their best shot because they sympathize with us.

  • 70. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Yes, and I wonder if Courage Campaign will cover this one or at least give us some daily updates on it.

  • 71. Rhonda  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    you are correct. it should be bleed all their suckers dry. 😀

  • 72. New  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Equality is coming and the “Summer for Marriage" Van would make a great ice-cream truck. Maybe they are thinking in advance for the times they'll need new jobs.

  • 73. PamC  |  July 12, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    You make a great point; will their coffers ever run dry? These folks & like-minded bigots have spent so many millions on hate; I love seeing them waste their money, but will these groups ever just fizzle out due to lack of resources? Who's their daddy?

  • 74. Franck  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:15 am

    You'd be surprised. Around these parts, all you need to do is create some new church denominations and people will flock to give you their money in exchange for "salvation". I imagine the same happens elsewhere too, even (or especially) in the United States.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1117 days, as of today.

  • 75. Sagesse  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:33 am

    When the DOJ abandoned the four reasons originally advanced by Congress in 1996, they abandoned the primary argument still being advanced by Proponents in the Prop 8 trial… responsible procreation. That's what has NOM all tied in knots.

    The four stated reasons were: (1) encouraging responsible procreation and child rearing, (2) defending and nurturing the institution of traditional heterosexual marriage, (3) defending traditional notions of morality, and (4) preserving scarce resources.

    In discussing the third reason, Congress went on at great length about 'moral disapproval of homosexuality' and the Judeo Christian tradition. You could still get away with saying those things in 1996.

    The problem with defending those four arguments is that the morality argument is so politically incorrect (not to mention unconstitutional, after Lawrence vs Texas in 2003) that the DOJ didn't want to touch it… and there's no way of doing even a Cooper style defense of three of them without dealing with the fourth.

  • 76. Sagesse  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:12 am

    When the battle against LGBT rights is lost, they will move on to attacking women's reproductive rights…. abortion, contraception, abstinence only sex education. For the religious Right, it's all about power and all about money.

  • 77. fiona64  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Ray, I'm not Kathleen … but I do know the answer.

    It's yes.

    It falls under "provoking gestures," as it is considered a threat. You'll get a citation for it in most states.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 78. Sagesse  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Excellent idea. Except make the design visually different in some way so that the two buses cannot be confused. Else the whole point is lost.

  • 79. fiona64  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:18 am

    They're at work on those things all the time already …

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 80. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:26 am

    That makes perfect sense and brings together aspects from the prop8 and DOMA trials for me. THANKS!

  • 81. Billy  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I have a feeling that even if we got DADT and DOMA repealed, they'd still fight us at every turn for decades to come. The religious right realizes just how much of a cash cow anti-gay bigotry is, and they're not gonna let that go anytime soon. I predict it'll be about 50-60 years from now before a strong majority of people realize just how silly it was denying all those people their rights based on fairy tales and cooties…

  • 82. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:33 am

    too true; I was sucked into the evangelical mindset at age 14 in 1974, and these issues haven't changed since then–they had the Pride parade pictures, gerbil stories, babies developing in the uterus and Francis Schaeffer/CE Koop anti-abortion movies to scare us even then. I did notice the tension between those issues and helping the poor / being good stewards of the environment, even among christians, as a teen. But it's easier to get money if you scare people instead of getting them to care about other people or the planet.

  • 83. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I sure wish they were coming somewhere close to Seattle…or anywhere in the PNW. I would LOVE to give them a bit of my 'first amendment' rights!!!

  • 84. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Once we have shown that "don’t ask, don’t tell" violates both the due process clause and the first amendment, this Court’s duty is to enter judgment for Log Cabin Republicans, declare "don’t ask, don’t tell" unconstitutional, and enjoin any future application of "don’t ask, don’t tell" throughout the United States.

    Thank you, Your Honor http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/13/Lo

    opening statement (ending) of Log Cabin Republicans in DADT trial

  • 85. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 2:55 am

    @PamC
    Well, everybody's using us: religious leaders to get money from scared followers, politicians to get votes of the same already scared and angry people.  That is the real reason why we have no political power — we're being used to advance their political and economical purposes.  As long as there is an angry mob, you can easily control that mob and use its anguish and abhorrence to your advantage.  Happy people tend to think with there hearts and minds set on love, equality, fairness, verity — you can't fool them with fairy tales about monsters among us that easily.

  • 86. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 13, 2010 at 2:58 am

    This man has to have worked with either Ted Olson or David Boies. Or possibly, both of them. If this opening statement is any indication of what the plaintiffs' and plaintiff-Interveners' case is like, this is a rock-solid, airtight, open-and-shut case that will lead to DEDT's demise, and will do so much more quickly than the repeal bill currently in front of Congress.
    Rhonda, thank you for the link to this. You have really warmed the heart of this veteran.

  • 87. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 13, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Sorry. That should be DADT.

  • 88. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:07 am

    You are very welcome, Richard. As a vet myself, I have a personal interest in this as well. I wish I could find a live blog of that trial. ;D
    3 Rhonda

  • 89. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:11 am

    So do I. BTW, which branch? I am former Navy.

  • 90. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:14 am

    I ashamed to admit that I had no idea of how long there have been LEGITIMATE studies by RESPONSIBLE groups proving that allowing open service in the military would NOT cause any harm & would also be a benefit to all.

    This PROVES that our so-called leaders have known or should have known for decades that there was NO rational basis for denying open service. While I don't consider myself exceptionally naive, I am still appalled that this information has been available for DECADES, yet they still blathered on & continued to ruin so many lives!

    Pulled from the opening statement:

    – 1988 report from the Defense Personnel Security Research and Education Center, called PERSEREC: This report pointed to the growing tolerance of homosexuality and concluded that “the military cannot indefinitely isolate itself from the changes occurring in the wider society, of which it is an integral part.” It then found that “having a same-gender or an opposite gender orientation is unrelated to job performance in the same way as being left- or right-handed.”

    – 1989 PERSEREC report: “the preponderance of the evidence presented indicates that homosexuals show pre-service suitability-related adjustment that is as good or better than the average heterosexual.”

    – 1993 GAO report: which studied 29 foreign militaries, with a special focus on Israel, Canada, Germany, and Sweden, and reported that permitting openly homosexuals to serve did not impair the functioning of these foreign militaries. This GAO report concluded that, with respect to Israel, Canada, Sweden, and Germany: “Military officials in all four countries said that the presence of homosexuals in the military is not an issue and has not created problems in the functioning of military units.”

    – 1993 RAND report (extensive inter-disciplinary study by 70 social scientists): Only one policy option was found to be consistent with the findings of this research, with the criteria of the Presidential memorandum, and to be logically and internally consistent. That policy would consider sexual orientation, by itself, as not germane to determining who may serve in the military.

  • 91. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:22 am

    If anyone finds such a blog, please let us know.

    (I am a USAF veteran. "Weapon Control Systems Mechanic" – maintained radar on the F4-E.)

  • 92. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Sagesse, this mesage is crucial, regarding religious agenda,

    And everyone must know that after marriage rights, the next progession in human evolution will be the realization of spiritual rights.

    As everyone is already aware from my lengthy blathering, I am married, but it is not accepted by my family or the Church.

    We could continue research into the ways the religious right organizes, as Straight Grandmother pointed out in the thread about Haiwaii, the country is divided up so that differnet religious groups are working in different States.

    On a blog I was reading about Uganda, they made reference to the influence of "The Family" that's the title of a book, about an organization at work in the states, and in Uganda we need to inform ourselves about them,

    There are other organizations of equal power, and I agree we need to see how these link up.

    The Vatacin recently came under fire, because the Pope issued some new rules about SIN, this in response to issues raised about pedophile priests, and abuse of children, he made this crime punishable by automatic excommunication, for priests, (not Bishops), but the most amazing thing was that in the same catagory he lumped womens ordination, a direct attack against women and making their desire to answer a calling to the priesthood a sin equal to sexual abuse by priests. Hopefully this will have the affect of outraging women to the point of working in their favour.

    We need to be aware of the difference between the religious reicht, and affirming Churches, as you metioned in a link the other day about the Presbyterian Church opening to the possibility of being the largest main line affirming Church.

    Churches that have evolved sprititually take a different road than those who use the Freedom of Religion to advance their own politcial and fincancial power base, thereby perpetuating spiritual violence.

    Better stop blathering, cept to say, along with rights come responsiblites, one of which I think is educating ourselves about sound theological practice, and spiritual violence.

  • 93. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:30 am

    the only rational basis for denying open service is in order to support the religious right, which is a force to reckon with., how f—ed is that. It is the truth

  • 94. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I am an Army of 1 :p

  • 95. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Not sure I'd call that a rational basis, but certainly a self-serving one. Also an unconstitutional one, which hopefully is what Judge Phillips will rule.

    <3 Sheryl

  • 96. Peter  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Why follow them? Why not have THEM follow US?? We should go in the day before… make them look foolish when they get there (not that they need any help for that…)

  • 97. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Thank you SO much for posting that link Rhonda!
    My husband was thrilled when he read that (as was I)
    He is so very nervous that someone or somehow he will be "outed' before his retirment benefits kick in….but if DADT is struck down or repealed than he should be able to relax.
    he is just so afraid his 24 yrs of service will be wiped out for no reason other than his being Gay.

  • 98. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:51 am

    National Association of Evangelicals Chaplains Commission is why they are such a force within the military.

  • 99. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:53 am

    GREAT IDEA!!!!
    Make them look like what they are…hate filled hypoChristians

  • 100. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 3:54 am

    You are very welcome. Unfortunately, I can well understand his fear, and respect it. Luckily, y'all fall within the Witt case area, (from what I read in the opening statement) which may help.

  • 101. Sagesse  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:03 am

    What I find just as interesting, also embarrassed to admit it, is how little documented evidence there is for an effect on unit cohesion, military discipline, etc. The leaders at the Pentagon just said 'It's a threat because we know it's a threat… and what business do have telling us what to do.'

    This trial should provide input for DADT repeal, both the senate vote and the implementation plan. They can't very well ignore it or bury now that it's entered into evidence.

  • 102. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Couldn't find a live blog, but The Advocate is doing a Twitter feed. To avoid moderation delay:

    twitter dot com slash theadvocatemag

  • 103. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Here's LCR's witness list: http://www.lgbtpov.com/2010/07/log-cabins-dadt-tr

  • 104. Sagesse  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:23 am

    @Bob,

    Personally, I have not problem with religion, or with religious people… the enemy is organized religion when it uses its ability to mobilize resources (people and money) to take rights away from those who disagree with them. The leaders of these churches are the ones who get off on money and power. The LDS Church literally mobilizes its members and their money.

    More insidious is the Catholic Church. It is reasonably well established that lay Catholics in the US (and Canada) do not buy into the rigid dogma that the hierarchy demands. Many personally disagree on abortion and contraception and LGBT rights and the role of women and celibacy. But the Catholic hierarchy weighs in with its opinions and legislators feel they have to listen, even though they don't speak for many Catholic voters.

  • 105. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:28 am

    @Bob, I've always thought that was a good distinction to keep, between spirituality and religion. I no longer consider myself a christian, my spirituality is more along the lines of buddhism (compassion and respect for self and others). However, it seems clear to me that those who support human rights issues are growing spiritually, while those who seek power over others are dead already.

  • 106. Sagesse  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:40 am

    @Bob,

    Grammar fail. The Catholic hierarchy does not speak for all Catholics.

  • 107. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

    @ Sagesse, just for clarification, I attend Church, (Anglican) and also have no problem with reliigion.

    I agree about the distinction between Churches who misuse the Freedom of Religion thing to advance their own policitcal agenda, and power base.

    Spiritually advanced churches have no interest in political agendas, or self serving interests.

    The sigificance of the U.S. battle for equality is it's outright battle with the religious right., which has become such an amazing force in the political arena. one can only ask how did this happen, And of course , how can we change it. The religious right in Canada, has had it's wings clipped, but they get their strength and hope that they will succeed in U.S. and eventually the world.

  • 108. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Don't forget the DVD "8:The Mormon Proposition" goes on sale today. For today only, they're offering a Buy On, Get One Free deal http://www.wolfevideo.com/products/8-the-mormon-p

    (I have no financial interest in this – just putting out the word)

  • 109. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Has anyone else read this?

    Mormons and Gays After Proposition 8: Guest Blogger Carol Lynn Pearson on LDS Efforts to Build Bridges in Berkeley
    http://blog.beliefnet.com/flunkingsainthood/2010/

  • 110. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Like that article Mark

    @ Kathleen, I get the google alerts about prop8, today they had an article in National Review Online,, Bench Memos, by Ed Whelan "Judge Walkers Anti Prop8 Sham Trial, suggesting he should recuse himself because he is known to have a long time partner and perhaps he himself will benefit from his own ruling.
    The interesting thing about the article is that they pretty much have accepted that he will rule in our favour, and are already arguing why that is wrong.

  • 111. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:20 am

    @Bob
    What's more interesting is that we can say the same thing about a heterosexual judge ruling against the repeal of Prop 8: he will benefit himself from his own ruling by upholding a law that serves his religious views on immorality of homosexuality.  Wouldn't we be right?

  • 112. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:21 am

    The entire NOM bunch has been pretty public about their expectation that they'll lose for quite some time now. I seem to recall Maggie Gallagher's press statement outside the courthouse after closing arguments essentially conceded that Walker would rule in favor of plaintiffs.

    As we get closer to the time the ruling is expected, I think we'll see more and more spin on the part of the right to justify why they've lost. Then when the ruling does come down, they can all say — 'See, we told you we'd lose because Walker's gay' or "See, we told you we'd lose because he's an activist judge.' etc, etc.

  • 113. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I bet Judge Walker does not rule until mid August. I actually prefer he take all the time he needs to write an iron clad opinion favoring our side of course. I do think we will WIN! I have always felt that way.

  • 114. Dave P.  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:46 am

    I just read it and posted this comment:

    The LDS church collected huge sums of money to spread lies about gay people in order to convince the public to hurt these people by taking away their equal rights.

    While I'm glad that not all members of the church support these activities, or at last no longer support these activities, it's going to take a lot more than a few feel-good group prayers to make any progress toward undoing the damage that was done.

    If you REALLY do not support the idea of using religeous beliefs to hurt other peoples families by denying them equal rights, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Join one of the many groups that is working to stop this kind of oppression like Equality California. A lot of LDS members were going door to door and standing on street corners waving "Yes on 8" signs in 2008. When the same number of LDS members put in the same amount of effort to make ammends we will be able to move on. But until then, anyone in the church who participated in this oppression or who didn't speak up and try to stop it is still in the wrong and still owes ammends for hurting these people.

  • 115. Dave P.  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Indeed. The only kind of judge who would not be biased, according to NOM logic, would be a judge who did not have ANY sexual orientation at all. Morons.

  • 116. Billy  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:48 am

    @Straight Grandmother

    Is this you in the comments section: http://www.towleroad.com/2010/07/ohio-gay-marker-… ? If so, I replied that I'd be going out to Dayton this weekend to do a rubbing of the sign, and I'll take a close up picture for you and post it here on this site. 😀

  • 117. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:56 am

    When I read Judge Tauro's ruling, the other day, it sounded so similar to a ruling Judge Walker could make,

    so Krill I agree with you, and I'm making asumptions again, but I'm thinking Tauro is straight, so the same ruling has already been made by a straight Judge. and that's why Walker delayed his announcement,

  • 118. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Also, who is to say that Judge Walker isn't married to his partner already?

  • 119. Michelle Evans  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:07 am

    PamC and the rest of the group,

    Sort of OT, but wanted to let you know that even though Neil Armstrong will soon be 80 years old and from the mid-west, and is considered pretty conservative, he has never shown any animosity toward the LGBT community.

    I am working on a book that he is a part of and I first interviewed him prior to my transition. I worried a lot when it came time to meet him again, and he was absolutely fine, and even gave me a hug! I am hoping that once the book is finished that he will be kind enough to write the intro for it.

    One reason I bring this up is to show the diversity of people who support us, and also to show that what some people say about it all being some sort of generational thing, is simply hogwash. A good person is a good person, no matter their age nor geographic location.

  • 120. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:08 am

    They always have an excuse as to why they lose. Walker gay, DoJ bad defense of DOMA, constituation should not be decided by the courts, DADT Phillips requires evidence we shouldn't need to provide……

  • 121. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Oh, that was nice. We need more like him in office.

  • 122. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I would be interested to know if the states/cities they chose has the highest $$$$$ amount donated to them — which is why they chose those cities.

  • 123. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:18 am

    @Dave P, RIGHT! You are so RIGHT!!! After the civil rights movement in the 60's (Which was won because people go off their *sses and took to the streets. They marched and they boycotted, they did not just go to a 'once a year, have fun parade') there were plenty of affirmative action programs to make amends. I honestly beleive we are going to win every single court case we bring on and the house of cards are falling. Give me ENDA!!!! Without the protections of ENDA gays & lesbians Bi & TG are afraid to march in the streets lest they be recognized and loose their housing or job. It is a very insidious way of keeping queer fold down.

  • 124. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:20 am

    'When the battle against LGBT rights is lost, they will move on to attacking women’s reproductive rights…. abortion, contraception, abstinence only sex education. For the religious Right, it’s all about power and all about money.'

    They are still doing that. Even when they lose the gay equality battle, they will still fight it. They have to in order to keep influence and power. They're just assholes. :)

  • 125. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:22 am

    As much as I would like to purchase that movie, and I really do, I am instead making donations to the cause. I will catch in on pay per view.

  • 126. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:23 am

    We ordered ours through a link in an email the NCLR sent us which meant that not only did we get a very historic documentary on DVD, half of our purchase price went to NCLR, which I feel has done more to help all of us than HRC. And I will let you know this right now. Wolfe's shipping is faster than they say, so you will get to see the DVD even sooner. They are definitely a company to support, especially since they are Rainbow Tribe.

  • 127. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:28 am

    We're getting it from Netflix tomorrow (I added it to our queue early!).

  • 128. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Yup that is me. Who else would be "Straight Granmother?" I am intersted in what the marker says. When I was a kid we always went on a family vaction and my parents NEVER missed a single Historical Marker, not once. If we missed it going by my dad would turn the car around. So yeah I really am intereted in the text of the marker. I used to only post on P8TT but now I am brinching out especially when a member here posts an link I almost always go check it out. Well I do get in a time crunch sometimes with the farm work, but mostly I check out every link posted.

  • 129. Jon  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Summer for No Marriage for You, is more accurate.

  • 130. Rebecca  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Oh, I just love how they go: Ohio…Indiana…oops nevermind we're skipping Illinois!…Wisconsin…Minnesota.

    They took one look at Chicago and decided to skip us altogether, haha. Good riddance!

  • 131. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Same-sex marriage sanity
    The judge deciding the Proposition 8 case should recognize that the arguments advanced against same-sex marriage fall short. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la

    July 13, 2010

    What is the rational basis for laws that deprive gay and lesbian couples of the right to wed? The arguments that have emerged so far — that same-sex marriage is bad for child-rearing and that it damages heterosexual unions — fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. A judge in Massachusetts recognized this in a case involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act; now the judge in the lawsuit against California's Proposition 8 should do the same.

    In declaring the federal marriage act unconstitutional last week, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro noted that when Congress passed the law in 1996, supporters said it would "encourage responsible procreation and child-rearing" and protect traditional heterosexual marriage. The law recognizes only heterosexual marriage for federal purposes. Supporters of Proposition 8 used almost identical language during the 2008 campaign to ban recognition of same-sex marriage in the state.

    In this year's trial on the proposition, however, even its defenders were unable to show that same-sex marriage threatened the traditional institution of marriage. And not only is there ample reason to doubt that the children of gay and lesbian couples are any worse off than those in traditional families, that's not reasonable grounds for denying marriage based on sexual orientation. Many people make less-than-ideal parents. They aren't denied a wedding license because of it.

    District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is expected to rule in the Proposition 8 case this summer, has been asked to consider the more complicated question of whether homosexuals constitute a "suspect class," or a group of people who have suffered unreasonable discrimination; if he did so, laws that could adversely affect that group would have to meet a stricter level of judicial scrutiny.

    But even if Walker does not go that far, Proposition 8 could still be struck down. Tauro, in his opinion on the Defense of Marriage Act last week, wrote that denying marriage to homosexual couples was so clearly a failure to provide equal protection that it qualified as unconstitutional discrimination even without considering the question of a suspect class, because it was based on nothing more substantive than a belief in the immorality of homosexuality.

    Tauro referred frequently to a 2003 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law directed solely against gay sex; the decision said: "The fact that a governing majority in a state has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law." The lack of a solid justification for laws against same-sex marriage suggests that, like the sodomy law, they're based only on a traditional moral belief. That's why the Supreme Court should reject them.

  • 132. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Jon I think it would be sufficient if Courage Campaign just rented two plain vans with the cartop signs, "The RV behind me is a BIGOT" and "The RV in front of me is a BIGOT" and jsut box them in and follow them for the duration.

  • 133. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:34 am

    SG, you are so right about ENDA. I work in a state and for a school system that values diversity, and for the first time in my career I've been out at work for 6 years now. It's made a HUGE difference in my personal and professional life. And I go to functions/actions a lot more freely and safely, such as the Love Makes a Family fundraising efforts before CU's in CT. I feel tremendously supported here, but I've known the fear from being "partially closeted"–out to friends/family, but not at work.

  • 134. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:37 am

    @Rhonda:

    Nice, I read the whole statement – will need to see if it's being tracked somewhere, would like to follow this trial.

    One comment in the opening statements: 'He testified about the government’s waiver program, by which it allows individuals normally ineligible for service due to criminal convictions to enlist in our armed forces. Besides his testimony about the type and number of crimes one may commit and still be allowed to enlist, he explained that the military uses a “whole person” review to evaluate candidates for such waivers and that the military does not employ a “whole person” review to evaluate homosexual candidates.'

    caught me eye. In Unfriendly Fire (whose author is going to be one of the witnesses), Nathan talks a lot about these waivers. I guess it's better to have criminals in the military than those damn homos. How sad.

  • 135. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Cory Booker is a pretty remarkable guy. If you ever get a chance to see it, I recommend Sundance Channel's series "Brick City."

  • 136. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Ronnie can probably answer this even better than anyone else. Is he running for Governor of NJ anytime soon? Let me know when he starts his campaign so i can pop up there to work in the office.

  • 137. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:45 am

    If that were the case, they would have chosen Fayetteville, NC instead of Raleigh. The LDS wards in Cumberland County reportedly outdid Wake County in donations. I think it is more about the news media and state capitols.

  • 138. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:52 am

    My absolute favorite comment on this article at the latimes site:

    I don't HATE anyone. I believe that homosexuality is a sin before God, and all sinners will burn in Hell. I believe that this country will also burn in Hell when it encourages sinful behavior. But I don't HATE anyone.

  • 139. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Hi, Dave.

    I posted as well. Probably won't change a lot of minds (any?), but it's important to keep trying. You never know when a seed might fall on fertile ground.

    Here's my post, in response to someone named Kay. (I should have written "when the Church" not "if the Church". Sigh.)

    Kay wrote:

    1. … Trust me – the Church may have asked/coached/challenged, but they did not funnel.

    Dictionary definition of the verb "funnel": to concentrate, channel, or focus: They funneled all income into research projects.

    So, yes, if the Church participated in channeling members' money to support Prop 8, they funnelled.

    Kay wrote:
    2. … Most Mormons are used to being picked on and considered 2nd-Class. Most Mormons think it's great they won the ballot initiative, even if they privately disagreed.

    Mormons can serve openly in the US Military. Mormons are protected from discrimination based on their religion in employment, housing, etc, If you think Mormons are 2nd class citizens, then we LGBT folks must be somewhere around 4th class or lower. & that's not even counting marriage INequality.

    I have no idea how someone can be happy that Prop 8 won if they privately disagreed. That sounds like being happy a Jim Crow law was passed while claiming to disagree with racism.

    Kay wrote:
    3. I don't think the Mormons care if another Church decides to "marry" whoever they want; it's a case of whether it's a legal marriage.

    That's called meddling in other citizens' legal civil rights. I don't care who your Church decides to "marry" either. In this country, a religious ceremony is NOT required to be married. No quotes. So no church has to marry or "marry" anyone. No one has forced the Catholic Church to marry divorced people. However, divorced people can still get legally married.

    Please keep your religious beliefs out of my life.

  • 140. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 6:56 am

    :) As I've pointed out in several other previous posts, I recommend the book Unfriendly Fire. It was quite an eye opener for me.

    In addition to the history of DADT, it also discusses many of these studies, as well as the experiences of other militaries who had similar policies which were eliminated.

    The UK was a great example – all of the same arguments used to keep DADT in place were used in the UK as well. And none of the doom and gloom scenarios happened. There weren't mass resignations, recruitment did not evaporate. In short, the fears were just stupid hysterics by haters that had no basis in reality.

    That's why there been so much anger about this year-long study that the military, for some reason, needs to conduct.

    If the recent DADT survey is any indicator, I think it's obvious what some haters are hoping this study is supposed to conclude.

  • 141. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Kathleen:

    That comment SO demonstrates why rational discussion will NEVER influence some people. I have to believe that this segment of the population is relatively small, & ultimately logic & truth will win out.

    <3 Sheryl

  • 142. fiona64  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I don't know about you, Kathleen, but my irony meter is way over in the red zone …

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 143. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Absolutely!! I've said that from the beginning. If they want to scream bias than so can we damn it!!
    Great post Kirille!!!

  • 144. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Thanks Bob….I liked it myself…but as Dave P wrote, thay have a LOT more to do to win my forgiveness. One little touchy feely handholding prayer meeting is NOT enough by a long shot1

  • 145. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:09 am

    ….and they wonder why nobody writes or calls anymore…

  • 146. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Fiona, it hadn't even occurred to me that this could be written by an advocate of equality. I scanned the comments for others written by the same poster, and it seems you're correct.

    That's the thing about the usual irrational rantings. It's nearly impossible to sort out the parody and satire from the real stuff — the real stuff is so over the top to begin with.

  • 147. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Kathleen–perfect definition of Poe's Law!
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law

  • 148. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:21 am

    @Sheryl Carver: I wonder if that was *the* Kay that used to hate around here in the early days. Sure sounds like it.

    Nice response, right on target.

  • 149. ns  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I live near enough to Trenton, NJ to go protest NOM hate there when they show up at noon. Anyone organizing a good-guys protest there?

  • 150. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Even Christ Jesus knew there was a difference and an importance to keeping God and Government seperate.

    Jesus said: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” Matthew 22:21
    (Which means loosely…seperation of Church and State!!)

    Remember the context: the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus into blaspheming, and asked if it was lawful for Jews to pay taxes to Rome. Jesus held up a coin and asked whose picture was on it, and the Pharisees replied that it was Caesar's picture. So, Jesus told them to give to Caesar (secular authority) that which was his (ie taxes) and give to God what belonged to Him (praise and worship).

  • 151. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

    This just in… via email from NOM…

    A public university professor has been fired for confessing he agrees with Christian teachings on sex and marriage.

    This is not just an outrage, it’s the explicit beginning of a very new and ugly trend in American life.

    Unless you act today, and help us fight back, this will be just the beginning.
    Click here to take action now!

    I’ve never seen a case so clear cut:

    Ken Howell was fired from his teaching position at the University of Illinois after a student complained about an email — sent to students in his course entitled "Modern Catholic Thought" — in which Professor Howell described Catholic moral thought on sex and marriage. When the student asked Professor Howell if he agreed with the Church’s teaching, he said yes: only sex between a man and woman united by marriage is morally good. (Click here to read Prof. Howell's email and the AP account of his firing.)

    Not only was Ken Howell fired, but the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts publicly gloated that he deserved to get fired for that email.

    The days when a public university can decide "no Catholics need apply" should be long dead and gone. But in truth, if an outrage like this is allowed to stand, all people of faith will have entered a new Dark Age in American life. If this can happen at a public university, funded by taxpayers, it can happen anywhere. Unless we stop this outrage, teaching while Christian is now a punishable offense.

    But our faith is not a form of bigotry. We will not stand idly by as a cloud of darkness descends on this great nation. We will name the hate, we will stand up in love for our right to speak truth to power. And by the grace of God we will win.

    Stop the hate today, right now–send an email to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
    Click here.

    Then send this message on to five friends.

    Faithfully,
    Brian S. Brown
    President
    National Organization for Marriage
    2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20006
    bbrown@nationformarriage.org

    Now, interesting thing…
    Why that Professor was really fired?  Because he believes gay and lesbian couples are abomination or because he was preaching his beliefs to his students in his official capacity, overstepping his authority and using the access to students' email addresses to spread his religious beliefs without their consent?

  • 152. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:50 am

    This just in… via email from NOM…

    A public university professor has been fired for confessing he agrees with Christian teachings on sex and marriage.

    This is not just an outrage, it’s the explicit beginning of a very new and ugly trend in American life.

    Unless you act today, and help us fight back, this will be just the beginning.
    Click here to take action now!

    I’ve never seen a case so clear cut:

    Ken Howell was fired from his teaching position at the University of Illinois after a student complained about an email — sent to students in his course entitled "Modern Catholic Thought" — in which Professor Howell described Catholic moral thought on sex and marriage. When the student asked Professor Howell if he agreed with the Church’s teaching, he said yes: only sex between a man and woman united by marriage is morally good. (Click here to read Prof. Howell's email and the AP account of his firing.)

    Not only was Ken Howell fired, but the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts publicly gloated that he deserved to get fired for that email.

    The days when a public university can decide "no Catholics need apply" should be long dead and gone. But in truth, if an outrage like this is allowed to stand, all people of faith will have entered a new Dark Age in American life. If this can happen at a public university, funded by taxpayers, it can happen anywhere. Unless we stop this outrage, teaching while Christian is now a punishable offense.

    But our faith is not a form of bigotry. We will not stand idly by as a cloud of darkness descends on this great nation. We will name the hate, we will stand up in love for our right to speak truth to power. And by the grace of God we will win.

    Stop the hate today, right now–send an email to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
    Click here.

    Then send this message on to five friends.

    Faithfully,
    Brian S. Brown
    President
    National Organization for Marriage
    2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
    Washington, DC 20006
    bbrown@nationformarriage.org

    Now, interesting thing…
    Why that Professor was really fired?  Because he believes gay and lesbian couples are abomination or because he was preaching his beliefs to his students in his official capacity, overstepping his authority and using the access to students' email addresses to spread his religious beliefs without their consent?

  • 153. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 7:53 am

    {{{ Crap… Forgot to remove false links and got stuck in moderation. So I reposted it without links. Sorry. Delete it please if you can. Thanks. }}}

  • 154. Rhonda  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Ken Howell's letter in part:
    One of the most common applications of utilitarianism to sexual morality is the criterion of mutual consent. It is said that any sexual act is okay if the two or more people involved agree. Now no one can (or should) deny that for a sexual act to be moral there must be consent. Certainly, this is one reason why rape is morally wrong. But the question is whether this is enough.

    If two men consent to engage in sexual acts, according to utilitarianism, such an act would be morally okay. But notice too that if a ten year old agrees to a sexual act with a 40 year old, such an act would also be moral if even it is illegal under the current law. Notice too that our concern is with morality, not law. So by the consent criterion, we would have to admit certain cases as moral which we presently would not approve of. The case of the 10 and 40 year olds might be excluded by adding a modification like "informed consent." Then as long as both parties agree with sufficient knowledge, the act would be morally okay. A little reflection would show, I think, that "informed consent" might be more difficult to apply in practice than in theory. But another problem would be where to draw the line between moral and immoral acts using only informed consent. For example, if a dog consents to engage in a sexual act with its human master, such an act would also be moral according to the consent criterion. If this impresses you as far-fetched, the point is not whether it might occur but by what criterion we could say that it is wrong. I don't think that it would be wrong according to the consent criterion.

    But the more significant problem has to do with the fact that the consent criterion is not related in any way to the NATURE of the act itself. This is where Natural Moral Law (NML) objects. NML says that Morality must be a response to REALITY. In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same. How do we know this? By looking at REALITY. Men and women are complementary in their anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Men and women are not interchangeable. So, a moral sexual act has to be between persons that are fitted for that act. Consent is important but there is more than consent needed.

    this is wrong on so many levels.

  • 155. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Wondered that myself, JonT.

    If so, she certainly won't be changing her mind, but there's always a chance, like dripping water will erode even a piece of granite. On the other hand, in her case the timeframe would probably cover several lifetimes. :-)

    And thanks for the feedback on my post. It takes me forever to write something like that, but I'm hoping it has some positive effect, no matter how small.

  • 156. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

    @JonT
    Well, yeah…  Criminals can get married, criminals are allowed conjugal visits (so, nobody says their sex is abomination), criminals can serve in the military, but not homos because homos are worse than criminals, right?  That's the message our government sends to our people.

  • 157. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Here's another take on it. Not hate speech, just too stupid to be a University Prof. :)
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/07/honest

  • 158. Lori  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Augusta stop is tomorrow!

    I know there's a pro-marriage equality press conference or something that will be going on in the State House, but is anyone else interested in counter-protesting NOM's rally?

  • 159. Lori  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Just happened to be in the area when I learned this was happening.

    I'll be there if I get a ride up from MDI.

    ~Lori

  • 160. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

    If I remember correctly, there was a site where we could read the actual Prop 8 trial transcripts. However, I didn't bookmark it & have forgotten what/where it is.

    Does anyone know where we might be able to see the transcripts of the DADT trial that started today in Riverside? I'm assuming it takes at least 1 day for them to be posted, but since I've been unable to find a live blog for the trial, this seems like the best way to find out what's going on.

    Thanks in advance for any help/pointers!

  • 161. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:30 am

    http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/hea

  • 162. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

    @Sheryl Carver

    American Foundation for Equal Rights — they are behind Perry case, and they provide transcripts in PDF.

    As for DADT case, I'm sure we'll hear about it and transcripts will be available.

  • 163. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Once we were criminals too, but now that we are not, we are LESS THAN criminals!..? How the hell did THAT happen?…!

    Ғĕłỹҳ

    F/|E 4E6YPAIIIKA? HE HA CKANII! IIINHIIINRAIIIKA FPYCTHO!

  • 164. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I am not near there but I strongly encourage you to go, jsut go, even if you are the only one. It really irks me to no end that 10,000 people will show up for a Gay Pride "Fun Day" Parade but hardly any one shows up to a real protest. I have guests arriving tomorrow who will be here for 3 days so I am going to be busy. I have been thinking of friends I have back in Wisconsin, I will be contacting them and asking them to attend the Madison Wisconsin Protest. Then I also thought oh heck, I have a cousin in Tampa bay and one in Minnesota, I'll contact them and ask them to attend also. So even though I cna't go, I am going to try and get tohers to go. NOM has to be stopped, or at least given an overwhelming counter protest. Feet on the ground, we need feet on the ground.
    NS- I hope you go and can send us back pictures.

  • 165. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Thanks, Lesbians Love Boies & ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ.

    Since AFER (the sponsor) posted the Prop 8 transcripts, I'll keep an eye on the LCR's site.

  • 166. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Sheryl, the Perry daily transcripts were publicly available so quickly because AFER made them available. Normally, for the first 90 days, transcripts are only available by going to the courthouse in person.

    They've posted their legal filings online. http://online.logcabin.org/motions.html

    You might contact them and ask if they would be willing to make the daily transcripts available.

  • 167. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

    loved that take on it Kathleen, (I post all these to my profile page on facebook, wondeer why my family has stopped trying to connect there)

  • 168. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Great idea, Kathleen!

    Just sent an email to Charles Moran, their press contact. Am not sure he's the right person to ask, but figure/hope if not, he'll forward it to the appropriate person.

    Will post his reply as soon as I get one.

  • 169. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I said it before but it bears repeating, it was ROB REINER and his wife MICHELE SINGER who started this court case. They put up the first money and hired Olson and Boies. AFER was created afterwrds as a result of that. We should never forget our allies, and for my money they are the Most Important allies ever. They are never mentioned (well except for me saying it) and they should be.

  • 170. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I don't mean to minimize the importance of the Reiners, but let's not forget that Chad Hunter Griffin had as much to do with getting this case going as any other single person.

  • 171. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Kathleen, GREAT Fantastic link you posted @ Kathleen | July 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm EVERONE SHOULD READ THAT ARTICLE

  • 172. Dave P.  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Yeah Sheryl ! I read your post over there. Nice volley!

  • 173. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    @Straight Grandmother
    Sorry, I didn't know that!  Thank you for informing us!
    Everywhere it's mentioned that AFER is behind the case, and given the complexity of the case and those millions of dollars the whole thing cost, I always thought that it's something that was done thanks to a big organization and a lot of donations from many, many people all around the country, or even the world.
    But, to be fair, we all should know that everything, even something big always starts with an idea in one man's mind… or woman's…

  • 174. Sheryl Carver  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    @Dave P:

    Read your 2nd post on beliefnet (at least I'm assuming it's yours) re: how the Mormon Church is not lying as it attempts to meddle in the civil rights of folks in Argentina. Good one!

    Haven't seen anyone from the Mormon side respond to yours or mine yet. Perhaps because there isn't anything they can say except things that start with "God said" or "we believe" or similar statements? :-)

  • 175. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Huh. So, his email was the typical slippery slope argument. Gay sex is just like child molesting and bestiality.

    I guess it's not too surprising that NOM et. al. are all up in arms, since they use the same arguments. Religious arguments.

    And is his 'Natural Moral Law' just code for biblical morality?

    This quote was interesting: 'So, a moral sexual act has
    to be between persons that are fitted for that act.
    '

    "fitted for that act"? Huh?

    I think I begin to see why he was fired.

    It sounds like he was using his position to push biblical morality, but hiding it behind terms like Natural Moral Law.

  • 176. Bolt  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

    This is excellent news. We must continue to sue for our legal equality. The political route is a pathetic failure!

  • 177. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:47 am

    @Kirille: Yeah, I know – I'm speaking to the choir here :)

  • 178. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

    If you haven't already read it, this New Yorker article from January is a must read for anyone interested in the case. It explains the history of how the case came to be. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/01/18/100

  • 179. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    That's a great take on it Kathleen :)

  • 180. Billy  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:06 am

    And this is why we can't have nice things.

  • 181. Ray in MA  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Here is my post at Flunking Sainthood…

    This "Coming Together" is a positive step forward. BUT…

    I was finally "allowed" to marry (in 2004 in Ma) after 23 years of a loving togetherness with my life partner. Our relationship had no impact on anyone but ourselves. Society's oppression had a bigger impact on us, as we realized even more after following the proceedings of the PROP 8 Trial.

    There are SO MANY facets to the problem at hand. Below is an article by Richard T. Hughes who is a Distinguished Professor of Religion at Messiah College and author of Christian America and the Kingdom of God.

    If you say that some LDS were on guard because of the oppression suffered by boycotts in MA in 2004, consider the hate and bigotry being spewed by Christians since Anita Bryant … which evolved into a big money making enterprise by a Christian majority!

    One poster (PamC) at the PP8TT made a comment that is missing from the editorial opinion below:

    "it’s easier to get money if you scare people instead of getting them to care about other people or the planet"

    That is one critica point missing from this "opinioin":

    Let me be frank from the outset: A great cultural divide is ripping the heart from this nation and Christians are partly responsible.

    I say that because 83% of the American people claim to be Christians. If those Christians lived as they are taught to live by the teacher they claim to follow, the American public square would be a very different kind of place.

    If one reads the New Testament—the charter for the Christian religion—one can discover rather quickly what that tradition is all about.

    Jesus tells his followers to tell the truth.

    Jesus tells his followers to make peace.

    Jesus tells his followers to turn the other cheek.

    Jesus tells his followers to bless those who persecute them and pray for those who misuse them.

    Jesus tells his followers to extend justice, especially to the poor and the dispossessed.

    Jesus tells his followers to serve as bridge-builders and agents of reconciliation.

    And Jesus tells his followers to love one another, even their enemies.

    But based on their words and behavior, we may safely conclude that many of the Christians who dominate America’s public square routinely reject the teachings of Jesus, in spite of their claims to the contrary.

    Sharron Angle, for example, wants to be the next U. S. Senator from Nevada. She founded a Christian school but casually announces that “the nation is arming” since “if we don’t win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?” For Angle, that next step is clear: those who oppose the current administration may “have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways.” In other words, if the ballot fails, the bullet is the next best hope.

    Sarah Palin is open about her allegiance to the Christian faith, but routinely trades in sarcasm, deceptions and lies about her political opposition. During the health care debate, she repeated over and again the falsehood that “the sick, the elderly, and the disabled . . . will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide . . . whether they are worthy of health care.”

    Newt Gingrich trumpets his allegiance to the Christian religion and writes about the role of the Christian faith in American history. He also knows that Barack Obama is a Christian. Yet he shamelessly denounces Obama as “secular”—a term Gingrich defines as an “outlook [that] does not acknowledge God.”

    No wonder that some Tea Partiers claim—as one woman put it—that “we are losing our country; we think the Muslims are moving in and taking over; we do not believe our president is a Christian.”

    Glenn Beck warned a national television audience to “look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can,” adding that those terms are code words for communism and nazism. Surely Beck knows that there is no theme more central to biblical faith than social and economic justice for the poor, but still he is willing to distort the Christian religion for cheap political gain.

    Ann Coulter promotes herself as a representative of the Christian religion. Yet, Coulter claimed after September 11, 2001 that the United States “should invade their countries [Muslim nations], kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

    When public figures like these so completely diminish the Christian faith, it is hardly surprising that grassroots believers often engage in similar distortions of the Christian religion.

    Some Christians at anti-Obama rallies have displayed signs that proclaim, “Since 1630: Bible hugging! Gun toting! Red Blooded American Against Tyranny.” Or another: “I will keep my freedom, my Bible, my gun, and my money.”

    When Christians so widely and publicly embrace such blatant distortions of the Christian religion, they abandon one of the roles they might have played in America’s public square: fostering civility and dialogue and building lasting bridges of reconciliation.

    But civility and respect have been all but lost in contemporary American politics. Alan Keyes, for example, has proclaimed that “Obama is a radical communist.” And one of the signs that routinely appears at anti-Obama rallies shows the President wearing a Nazi uniform and doing a Hitler salute. Another sign reads, “Barack Hussein Obama: the New Face of Hitler.” Those kinds of accusations are nothing short of slander.

    The issue I am raising has nothing to do with whether one is a Republican, a Democrat, a Tea Partier, or an independent. Neither political conservatives nor political liberals have a monopoly on this kind of behavior, though in recent months conservatives opposed to Barack Obama have been especially guilty.

    Yet the issue I am raising ultimately has nothing to do with whether one likes or dislikes Barack Obama. The issue has to do with Christians behaving like Christians and thereby telling the truth, doing justice, and promoting basic respect for other human beings.

    After all, since 83% of the American population identifies with the Christian religion, that 83% could make an enormous difference in the tone of American politics if those Christians actually practiced what they profess to believe. They could also make a positive difference in American politics if they held other Christians accountable when they engage in deception and slander in order to score political points.

    America’s churches and their pastors therefore have a grave responsibility: to urge their members to serve the public square as peacemakers, as truth-tellers, as people devoted to justice, and as men and women who are actually willing to practice what Jesus taught. If America’s churches refuse to take up this task—which, after all, is a task that is central to the Christian calling—the consequences for our country could be dire, indeed.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Richard T. Hughes.

    Posted by: The Editors – CNN Belief Blog

  • 182. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Kathleen, I researched this and I read several sources that it was Rob Reiner and his wife Michelle Singer who started this. Of course I didn't bookmark any of my sources so if you have additional information showing the first financial contributions to hiring of the lawyers that includes Chad Hunter Griffin I would be interested.

    I am not being in any way disagreable, I am just not aware that Chad Hunter Griffin put up the "first" money like Rob Reiner and Michelle Singer did. I think the old addage of "Put your money where your mouth is" applies to my sincere appreaciateion to Rob Reiner and Michelle Singer.

  • 183. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I'm confused Ray – did you write this or this 'Richard T.
    Hughes' mentioned at the bottom?

    At any rate, gets a Standing O from me!

  • 184. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Duh: 'Below is an article by Richard T. Hughes is Distinguished Professor of Religion at Messiah College and author of Christian America and the Kingdom of God.'

    Hehe, didn't notice when your section ended and his began. A good article.

  • 185. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

    And on the link from Kathleen there was quite a good discusiion on Catholic teachings with a link to this great video
    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47P59ha9k9s&hl=en_US&fs=1]

  • 186. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I never claimed Chad Griffin put up any money (though I imagine he did). I simply said he is as much responsible for getting the case going as anyone. I recommend reading the New Yorker article (link above).

    If the Reiners hadn't put up the money, I'm sure Chad would have found others who would have. I'm not trying to minimize what a great thing the Reiners did, but Chad was at least as important a piece of the puzzle as anyone else. He is an experienced and effective political strategist. This is what he does – brings people together to make things happen.

    While it's true that AFER, as an entity, was created as a way of formalizing the organizational elements that came together for the case, Chad has been there from the beginning and was a significant part of the birth of this case.

  • 187. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Great article Ray, if you think about it, none of these people are even working together, they are all just using religion to make a profit, which goes to their own invidvidual organizations,

    Not the common good, Religion=money, tax free=power, and these people are all taking advantage of that reality.to feed their own addictions

  • 188. Bob  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    and I should add, thanks to the fight for equality, these things are coming to light and being exposed, that's why this is so important to the world.

  • 189. Straight Grandmother  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Kathleen, I believe this to be the germain text in the New Yorker article, "
    But Griffin is not a guy who stays depressed—or at least merely depressed—for long. A week after the election, he was having lunch at the Polo Lounge, in the Beverly Hills Hotel, with Schake, discussing strategy with the actor and director Rob Reiner, for whom Griffin had formerly run a foundation, and Reiner’s wife, Michele. This was no idle exercise: Griffin had played a big role in the “No on 8” campaign, enlisting donations and support from prominent Californians, including the actor Brad Pitt, the real-estate heir and film producer Steve Bing, and the supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, who hosted a fund-raiser at his Los Angeles mansion. Griffin has orchestrated successful statewide ballot initiatives promoting clean energy and early-childhood education, and his clients include Maria Shriver, the First Lady of California. Still, nobody at the Polo Lounge lunch had alighted on what seemed like a winning plan until an acquaintance of Michele Reiner’s, Kate Moulene, stopped by the table, and heard what they were talking about. Later, Moulene told the Reiners that they should get in touch with her former brother-in-law, Ted Olson. You’d be surprised, Moulene told them—he’s with you on this."

    As the article states Griffin had worked "for" Reiner running a Reiner Foundation. It was a friend of the Reiners who recomended Ted Olson. And in another article I read somewhere it was the Reiners who put upt he first money and met with Ted Olson. NOT to minimize Chad at all, but in my mind the moving and shaking and initially calling and meeting Ted Olson was Rob Reiner. So that is why I give him the MOST credit. Now a whole AFER organization is built with a Board of Directors and the whole shebang, but it started with Rob Reiner and his wife Michelle Singer wanting to "do something" about the miscarriage of justice after Prop 8 passed. It is my opinion that the Reiners prefer to stay int he background as the ball has gained momentium. Now did Chad Hunter Griffin run with the ball once it was passed to him, Hell yeah, Go Chad!

  • 190. Ray in MA  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Apologies for the coofusion… the article begins after "That is one critical point missing from this “opinion”:"

    (I realized after reviewing there could be some confusion… after my 2 cents, you may understand how anxiousness to submit can overcome you)

  • 191. Kathleen  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on how we view the history. Chad wasn't working for Rob Reiner at the time this happened. Reiner had hired Chad years ago in conjunction with his foundation. Chad and Reiner have been friends for years. This was friends having lunch together, talking about an issue that was important to them. It's true that Olson's ex-sister-in-law is a friend of Michelle Reiner's and it was she who put the bug in their ear about approaching Olson. But, also I think it was Chad who first met with Olson in the early days, to feel out whether he would be an appropriate attorney to take the case.

    As I said, I think we just see the same set of facts in a different light.

  • 192. Dave in Maine  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I'm sure there are a lot of single mothers, women who have had abortions, divorced people, and couples "shacking up" who voted to take away my right to marry my boyfriend. They're all comfy and smug, looking down on the gays who want to turn marriage on its head, but NOM; The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property; and the Concerned Women for America have their number too. The only people exempt from the wrath of these organizations is a very small subset of Americans.

    Dave in Maine

  • 193. Dave in Maine  |  July 13, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I get these emails, too, and it's sometimes like it's from a parallel universe. Clearly, all the facts aren't in Mr. Brown's email, but all the crap he wants to use to fan the flames of hatred against us is in there.

    I especially liked the email about Judge Tauro's ruling. He seemed to blame Elena Kagen and completely glossed over the fact that Judge Tuaro is a 79-year old Nixon appointee.

    I can't wait to see him tomorrow in Augusta and hear his ridiculousness with my own ears.

    Dave in Maine

  • 194. JonT  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Funny you should mention that. I did one of these 'email your senators' things on eugene deguado's site and have been apparently added to his mailing list as well. I have them filtered into a 'Haters' Folder (love procmail :) that I check every week or so.

    He is even more nuts. Calls the Anti bulling measure (I think Franken is the main sponsor) the 'The Homosexual Classrooms Act'.

    The Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill is called the: 'Thought Control Bill'.

    ENDA is: 'Gay Bill of Special Rights'.

    And on and on. This kind of stupid would be comical (and I'm sure will be in the future) if it didn't cause so much harm to people today.

    And always… begging for money. Sometimes 4-5 times in a single email. What a waste of humanity :)

    I am so glad I am not one of these people. Consumed by hate, and seeing nothing else in life.

  • 195. PamC  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks, Ray–excellent opinion piece. Honestly, those bible-totin' folks must use a lot of white-out, since there are so many passages they'd have to work at ignoring otherwise. Holding on to their bible, guns & money? Something about living & dying by the sword comes to mind, as does some other verse about a camel going thru the eye of a needle.

    (thanks for the shout-out on your post, too!)

    I was a literature major as an undergrad, and once I had a professor comment to me that Jerry Falwell said that riches are a sign that god is blessing you & your work. I answered, "He should read Faust." Which made my prof smile, since that was what we had just studied. This isn't as OT as it seems, b/c I think a lot of religious right christians have sold their souls to enjoy material riches rather than relationship and real family riches. They are miserly in many ways.

    And they want to establish a gated community with keep out signs. Which would be fine if they'd truly keep to themselves, but they want the rules for the gated community to apply to everyone, both within & outside their gates!

  • 196. Shun  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Tea party groups choose to stand mute on same-sex marriage ruling
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    By Sandhya Somashekhar
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010; 6:41 AM

    While many conservative organizations immediately decried a federal judge's decision last week to invalidate the federal ban on recognizing gay marriages, tea party groups have been conspicuously silent on the issue.

    The silence is by design, activists with the loosely affiliated movement said, because it is held together by an exclusive focus on fiscal matters and its avoidance of divisive social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. Privately, though, many said they back the decision because it emphasizes the legal philosophy of states' rights.

    On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro in Boston struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which for federal purposes defines a marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Tauro agreed with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley that marriages should be defined by the state, and that the law violated the Constitution's 10th Amendment, which grants to states jurisdiction over matters not explicitly given to the federal government.

    "I do think it's a state's right," said Phillip Dennis, Texas state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. The group does not take a position on social issues, he said, but personally, "I believe that if the people in Massachusetts want gay people to get married, then they should allow it, just as people in Utah do not support abortion. They should have the right to vote against that."

    Everett Wilkinson, state director for the Florida Tea Party Patriots, agreed: "On the issue [of gay marriage] itself, we have no stance, but any time a state's rights or powers are encouraged over the federal government, it is a good thing."

    That view is perhaps not surprising, considering the strong libertarian strains within the tea party movement. One of the nation's best-known libertarians, Bob Barr, has opposed the Defense of Marriage Act over his concern that it violated states' rights — a notable about-face, considering that Barr wrote the DOMA legislation in 1996 when he was a Republican congressman from Georgia.

    Tea party activists have also embraced the 10th Amendment as a symbol of their opposition to what they believe is the outsized role taken on by the federal government.

    The large tea party-affiliated organizations, including FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Nation, declined to comment on Tauro's ruling because of their groups' fiscal focus. "That's just not something that's on our radar," said Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation. He acknowledged, however, that some in his group — though not a majority — are opposed to the Defense of Marriage Act.

    The situation is perhaps different in South Florida, where Wilkinson said "several hundred" of the group's supporters are gay. "Our stance might be different than someone who's in Oklahoma," he said.

  • 197. Ray in MA  |  July 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    PamC, it was timing … I read your comments and then I happen to read that article, and then I thought, hmmmmm, he's missing that major point.

    To add to my perspective, I am an atheist. I believe there's no logical way that humans can interpret such an entity and apply it to reality… and the saddest part is all the horrific results.

    There is only one religiious organization that I have respect for:
    http://www.venganza.org/

  • 198. Dpeck  |  July 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Sure, the Teapartiers have no 'official' stance on the issue. But when groups of teaparty members protest in D.C. they tend to do things like scream "F*GGOT!!!" at rep. Barney Frank. Other than that, they don't really have any strong feelings on things like LGBT issues…….

  • 199. Shun  |  July 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    State College, PA becomes the 23rd city to pass a resolution for supporting UAFA! Find out how you can help your local city do the same by contacting Tom at tom@out4immigration.org

    • State of California

    • City of Albany, NY
    • City of Atlanta, GA
    • City of Berkeley, CA
    • City of Binghamton, NY
    • City of Cambridge, MA
    • City of Campbell, CA
    • City of Chapel Hill, NC
    • City of Chicago, IL
    • City of Ferndale, MI
    • City of Hartford, CT
    • City of Los Angeles, CA
    • City of Miami Beach, FL
    • City of Minneapolis, MN
    • City of New Orleans, LA
    • City of New York, NY
    • City of San Francisco, CA
    • City of St. Louis, MO
    • City of Seattle, WA
    • City of State College, PA
    • City of Troy, NY
    • City of Tumwater, WA
    • City of Washington, DC
    • City of West Hollywood, CA

  • 200. Dave in Maine  |  July 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I know that Equality Maine wants us to leave town after the press conference. I think they want to avoid any conflict? I'll wait and see what happens at that before I decide to stay. I was thinking I'd like to hear them for myself, but maybe hearing it live and in front of me isn't such a good idea. At least with the computer, tv, and newspaper, I can instantly go do something else if their lies and deceit become too much.

    Dave in Maine

  • 201. Dave in Maine  |  July 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I agree with you 100%, Straight Grandmother!!

    Getting people, especially gay people, to volunteer to help the No on 1 campaign here in Maine last year was quite a battle. Sometimes it seemed that all that energy could have been better utilized against the NOM coalition and not begging other gays to help us out.

    I will admit that today's EqME press conference is during working hours in the middle of the week but I just BET that there will be a lot of NOM supporters who take the day off to attend their rally.

    I'll be taking photos this morning (this rainy ugly morning) and will post them on my Flickr page (Mainedave).

    Dave in Maine

  • 202. Rhonda  |  July 14, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Re: DADT trial

    LCR is going to post the transcripts! Don’t know when – but they will. http://www.lgbtpov.com/2010/07/don%E2%80%99t-ask-

  • 203. PamC  |  July 14, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Kathleen–I just read the New Yorker article; thanks so much for posting it. My favorite line:

    As Griffin saw it, “Our movement has been satisfied with small steps, but we can no longer be afraid of big steps.”

  • 204. PamC  |  July 14, 2010 at 1:48 am

    @Ray, oh yeah, gotta love the FSM and his noodly appendage!

  • 205. Bob  |  July 14, 2010 at 2:31 am

    @ Straight Grandmother, (what exactly is the point you're trying to make re the Reiners)

    This is so interesting in the sense that shared experiences, often in families, sort of like the one we''re experiencing here, are precieved differently by individuals who shared that experience. i.e if you talked to my mother or me seperately about the same event, you'd hear a different story,

    Hopefully one day, Chad and the Reiners, may tell us their version.

    For the time being I think this friendship that they shared had sidgnificance in that a straight couple became aware of how unequal life was for a gay person. That's the possibility inherant in friendships.

    Especially when those friendships involve persons, with money and connections.

    What is of more significance, the money , or Chad's sharing of a personal situation, which prompted the act of kindness, and the opportunity which Rob and Michele opened themselves to in attempts to do the right thing.

    The other thing I don't know is if at any point a decision was made, or if they thought about the significance to the case if it was solely a straight couple who put up the money. it silences the people who say it's just those gays and their agenda.

    This has become a story withing a story, and possiblity some day those involved will tell it.

    But thanks to you I have become very aware and most grateful to such an act of kindness from straight allies.

  • 206. Sheryl Carver  |  July 14, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Thanks so much, Rhonda!

    Just went over there & am eagerly awaiting the promised longer posts & the transcripts, whenever they can get them online!

  • 207. Straight Grandmother  |  July 14, 2010 at 7:15 am

    @Bob | July 14, 2010 at 9:31 am
    I bring up the point about the Reiners because they have obviously choosen to keep a low profile which also means they don't get credit for their efforts in getting the Prop 8 trial rolling. It is part of history and I think they should get credit for what they have done. It is simply gratitude, nothing more than that.

  • 208. Welcome to the NOM Tour T&hellip  |  July 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

    […] as a new feature of this web site and for the community that has gathered here. As we told you on Monday, the infamous National Organization for Marriage is launching a “Summer for Marriage: One […]

  • 209. Alan E.  |  July 15, 2010 at 1:49 am

    I agree that he shouldn't have been fired. Here is yet another take that is similar to PZ Myers':
    http://friendlyatheist.com/2010/07/14/university-

  • 210. Lee  |  July 26, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    One Man + One Woman = The average turn out to a NOM Rally!!

  • 211. Bob  |  December 7, 2010 at 6:41 am

    is this for real, another NOM tour, this link brings us back full circle to where we were in July, and some really interesting posts, specially remembering Straight Grandmother

  • 212. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 7, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Bob I truly hope there are no more tours, but the story linked was from July 14. But, there will probably be more tours.

  • 213. Welcome to the NOM Tour T&hellip  |  December 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    […] as a new feature of this web site and for the community that has gathered here. As we told you on Monday, the infamous National Organization for Marriage is launching a “Summer for Marriage: One Man, […]

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