July 24, 2010
By Eden James
Another day, another #NOMturnoutFAIL.
And, in yet another example of how NOT to stage an event attended by as many staffers as supporters, NOM decided to hold their latest tour stop in a huge, empty grocery store parking lot in Lima, Ohio. Seriously.
Arisha Michelle Hatch and Anthony Ash, our intrepid NOM Tour Trackers following NOM from one tour stop to the next, are in Lima but experiencing spotty internet connections. Fortunately, they were able to send iPhone pictures to accompany the brief report below from Arisha (it may be awhile before more pictures or video come in. Stay tuned):
In our most rural tour stop to date, the NOM bus tour has taken us to a parking lot, in front of a closed-down grocery store in Lima, Ohio.
A hand-count of 22 NOM supporters (many of whom were staff) gathered into a cavernous parking lot…
… while 19 equality supporters stood quietly to the right of the rally holding handmade signs in silent, but powerful, protest:
A young girl – an employee from the Subway next door – stopped and asked me what the bus event was about. “Nothing like this ever happens in Lima,” she said. “What’s this bus tour for?”
I explained and asked her how she felt about NOM coming to her town. “I think whether to be gay or straight is a choice,” she started. Of course, that’s something most NOM supporters would say, not recognizing the scientific evidence demonstrating that being gay is not a choice.
But she then went on to make a point about “choice” that was unexpected: “Why shouldn’t they be able to make the choice to get married? I don’t really care either way.”
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), originally scheduled to speak, did not make it out to the parking lot. A NOM tour staffer read a short letter from him.
Hmmmm… I wonder why Congressman Jordan didn’t show up? Remember, this is the same Jim Jordan who introduced a bill that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the District of Columbia, in an effort to kill marriage equality in DC.
Maybe a congressional staffer saw the runaway public relations disaster looming, as a result of NOMTourTracker.com, and decided to make sure the Congressman avoided the inevitable embarrassment? Smart move. If this is indeed the case, one can only imagine that other public officials will avoid this tour like the plague at future NOM, er, “rallies” on this tour.
So, after eight absolutely disastrous tour stops, the threatened arrest of our videographer, the sudden disappearance of Brian Brown (as featured on this milk carton), and the sudden reemergence of Maggie “I’m not Brian’s keeper” Gallagher, and now the decision by Congressman Jordan to duck the Lima event, the question needs to be asked:
Is the National Organization for Marriage imploding right before our eyes (and cameras)?
Is this tour just an example of NOM’s failure to organize events — or the tip of a much larger iceberg of internal turmoil inside the organization?
Should NOM consider canceling the rest of its tour stops before this turns into a national embarrassment?
Or are they going to double down on failure and hope no one notices?
Let us know what you think in the comments. And if you have any solid information or credible evidence that you think might help the community understand what is happening behind the scenes, please share it.
(More to come later, as Arisha and Anthony are able to send updates, pics and video. As usual, keep refreshing this thread as news develops…)
UPDATE BY EDEN: Wow. Maggie Gallagher really doesn’t give a damn about maintaining NOM’s credibility, does she?
Yes, this is the the headline on NOM’s blog post about Lima that just went up:
If by “success” you mean “EPIC FAIL,” then yeah, I guess I would have to agree.
If any of our intrepid online Trackers see similar news about the Lima event (or Columbus yesterday) let us know in the comments. And thanks again to “Lesbians Love Boies” for continuing to break news in the comments, with link after link. You are amazing, LLB!