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Yet another #NOMturnoutFAIL today: Is NOM imploding right before our eyes (and cameras)?

NOM Tour Tracker Right-wing

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…

NOM's empty-parking lot rally in Lima, Ohio

NOM's parking lot rally in Lima, Ohio

… while 19 equality supporters stood quietly to the right of the rally holding handmade signs in silent, but powerful, protest:

NOMTourTracker.com: Equality supporters outnumber NOM at counter-protest in Lima, Ohio, parking lot

"Straight not narrow": Equality supporters counter-protest NOM rally in Lima

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:

Another successful rally in Lima, Ohio!

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!

Tags: , ,

421 Comments

  • 1. truthspew  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:12 am

    This has been a smashing failure for the National Organization for Marriage (Again with that oxymoron!)

    I'd like to thank the folks with the NOM Tour Tracker for giving us these pix that counter what the talking heads of NOM keep saying about their supporters.

    But one question always remains for me. I'd like to follow the money. Because it's obvious some one or some group if funding this Bigot Cavalcade. Yes I know, the Mormons but I have a feeling the RC Church is dumping cash in there too.

  • 2. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:16 am

    That would be quite interesting, as in every other respect the RC Church refers to the Mormons as a cult.

  • 3. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Submarinelling

  • 4. Straight Grandmother  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Thanks Eden, Arisha and the rest of the dedicated CC crew, jsut cna't remember each of your names just now. I hope we get a firm headcount whihc seems like it is going to show that even in Lima Ohio they can't win. With allt he lies coming out of NOM, what a great success they are having, is anyone other than me starting to doubt that they really have 700,000 members. I bet the donut against the hole that they don't have near 700,000 members. They lie, lie, lie so this no doubt is a lie also.

    A GREAT BIG MERCI! to the counter protesters in Lima Ohio!!

  • 5. Sean  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:31 am

    I, for one, don't believe the NOM tour is imploding…for the simple reason that they never gathered enough steam, energy, or support to find themselves ABLE to implode. This was a bad idea from the very start…it can't go anywhere but downhill.

    NOM simply doesn't have the audience or support they seem to think they have. Times are changing and they're being left behind. Twenty years from now, NOM and the rest of their 'supporters' will be written about in history books under the same category as the racists who stood against civil rights.

  • 6. James Twist  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I wonder if they can identify the staff that is in the crowd from stop to stop so we can get an accurate count . Also I signed up to attend their stop in Madison WI but haven't heard anything about where it's going to be

  • 7. Steve  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Should have asked her when she chose to be straight. Or why she thinks anyone would choose to be a second-class citizen.

    The bible sign could have a lot a bigger. There are dozens more such ridiculous things in the OT. Especially Leviticus.

    Of course the biggest point is the sign on the right. They can believe whatever they want. But they have no right to legislate their beliefs into law.

  • 8. Wade@MacMorrighan.Ne  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:36 am

    [Just in case anyone missed this rather buried posting from earlier; and, thanks to Roger for that mention of Hindu evidence where wives were burned, still-living, with their deceased husbands):

    Hey CC guys, if you see Maggie, ask her some questions about the REAL history of Marriage! it’s far different than her talking points based PURELY on wishful thinking!!! And, as a freelance scholar, that offends me…

    Marriage was diffused throughout the Indo-European West (and it’s virtually the same in every culture on Earth), not to bind children to their biological parents and to nurture the next generation as Maggie claims! But, instead, it evolved from a period right around the time of the Neolithic when women were regarded as property–not people! Hell, like valued property, Kurgan* (see note) burials from the Russian steppes were found in which women were either buried alive alongside her “husband’s” treasured property–likely to continue serving him in the Afterlife–or she was executed shortly before his burial…and THEN buried with him! Moreover, the concept of marriage had NOTHING to do with one’s offspring…nothing to do with binding them to their parents nor nurturing them–this is a MYTH fabricated by Gallagher. Hell, if she was correct (which she isn’t, having never researched the subject at all) than we shouldn’t find the belief in ancient Greece where infant children were either kept (after a period) and introduced to the ancestral hearth, or they were rejected and tossed off a cliff (usually over a deformity, or some other defect).

    Even to my Celtic ancestors (Indo-European kin to the ancient Greeks) a father;s children were not officially accepted by him, despite any marriage arrangement to their mother, until he had proven himself a warrior in battle; it was regarded as a high offense for a child to approach their father before this period until the father had officially accepted his kin as his! But, I digress…

    The official impetus for marriage was NOT to secure the rights of children–”rights” of unborn children who may never exist that Maggie implies supersedes the rights of any couple involved with each other; rather, the impetus of marriage was to secure the property of the chief male and to ensure that it was passed on down to his legitimate heir…and, by “heir”, I mean a son! The second most important facet of marriage was, also, to control women’s bodies as the property of her “husband” (who had the very literal authority of life and death over her) to also ensure that she could not contaminate the tribe or clan with either foreign blood or a foreign ideology borne of a bastard. There was no HINT in any evidence that the impetus of marriage was to “bind children to their parents in love so that they could be nurtured” as Maggie likes to opine. PLEASE, for the love of the gods, corner her with this, implying–STRONGLY–that it’s based on a study not only of the historical and archaeological record, but of ancient culture and of contemporary Anthropology! And, do NOT let her wiggle off the hook by dismissing this with an opinion-based retort along the lines of, “No, I don’t think that’s right” nor allow her to misuse the term “societies” as she has in an effort to make her seem well read and educated in terms of Anthropology when she is NOT!!!

    *These were the nomadic invaders of south-eastern Neolithic Europe who gave us the Indo-Europeans after conquering and sometimes absorbing the mostly peaceful indigenous beliefs of the native inhabitants in 3 successive waves over the course of 1,000 years or so.

    All my best,
    Wade

  • 9. Heather Sheridan  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Can you just imagine how many 10's of thousands of dollars they are spending on this epic fail to go out and basically preach to the choir? And they have reached how many people in all the cities they have been to so far in total. Maybe about 400 and that is being generous. The gas, Bus rental, staff salaries, food, beverages, hotel rooms, and other expenses have to be eating them alive. LOL. Also have you noticed that alot of their future dates say Location TBD, To be determined. I wonder if that will be their excuse for ending their tour by saying they could not get a venue at these places. In Missouri they will be traveling from their last stop in Iowa to St. Louis. That takes them literally within 25 miles of the State Capital but they chose St. Louis instead of Jefferson City. Hmm I wonder why. I am sure PROMO and other Missouri gay rights groups will be out in force if they aree stupid enough to show their faces in St. Louis.

  • 10. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Yes, I believe they are imploding right before our very eyes, and the NOM Tour Tracker cameras, and I think part of the cause of the implosion is the fact that their rhetoric has gotten closer and closer to how they really feel, and now that they are showing their true colors, they are showing just how close to the Fred Phelps family cult they really are in their thinking, and it is turning everybody away from them. There is also the fact that time after time, they are losing their battles to hide the identities of those who support them.

  • 11. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:37 am

    As much as I hate to acknowledge it, the fact is that the gNOMes will have a larger turnout of supporter here in Indianapolis than in the other cities. The area has several highly vocal advocates of a state constitutional amendment to prohibit/ban Marriage Equality in our state. To date it has never been able to make it for full legislative vote, but that has not stopped the haters from bringing it forward again and again. (What a waste of govt time and expense.) I hope to have a chance to meet the interpid crew of CC on Mon.

  • 12. Wade@MacMorrighan.Ne  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I found a website you might thoroughly enjoy…especially if anyone has an interest in Gay history and heritage:
    http://www.angelfire.com/fl3/celebration2000/#sub

    Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825-1895) was, so far as anyone knows, the first openly Gay man in recorded history (back when we were called "Uranians", after Aphrodite Urania, because She–according to Plato–was the patron goddess of Gay men); he wrote twelve books (available in English), mentioned how we were persecuted and oppressed even then, and also advocated for Marriage Equality and women's rights! Given that I am not only a Pagan with a real hard on for history, and a freelance scholar, I am SOCKED that I'm only know learning about this fascinating character in our history…

    Take Care,
    Wade

  • 13. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I was right, it was a wordpress problem with the subscription links, not CC. It is fixed now.

  • 14. McD  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I was one of the protesters at the Lima event today, and it was actually pretty sad. I'm originally from Lima, and expected the super conservative city to be all over this event. The parking lot was just empty, and they had 4 local police cruisers and a sheriff deputy in the lot. One of the officers came up to my group and told us he was there to protect our rights as much as the NOM group's rights. He talked with us for about 15 minutes as we waited, and waited, for the rally to begin. Then he went and stood under the awning of the closed grocery with the other officers. The local reporter from the Lima News was there too, and he pulled up next to our cluster of cars and talked with us before the event started as well, and told us that his partner was covering the Equality Ohio event at a local park at the same time.

    Overall it was a pretty laid back time in the parking lot, with most of us making more connections with community members from all over western Ohio than anything else. I honestly thought the NOM presentation was going to have more material, but after starting late, it only lasted maybe 20 minutes tops, and then all of the "supporters" got in their cars and left.

    Congrats to Arisha and Anthony for actually finding the lot, I know if I hadn't been from Lima I would have never been able to.

  • 15. Dave in CA  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Was Louis / Lewis in the parking lot today?

    I really don't understand what the point of this stop was. Ohio already has a constitutional amendment banning SSM; the unemployment rate is sky-high; it's not even in town, for heaven's sake, but out on a little country road in the boonies. Who did they think was going to show up at this? Like the Subway girl said, nothing like this ever happens in Lima.

    I would have loved to have heard the phone calls to get Maggie in place and get Brian out of there. Brian's emotional meltdowns and hysteria are the exact opposite of Maggie (even if they are both liars), and Maggie had to have been fuming at Brian's emotional and functional incompetence. You can see it in the "not Brian's keeper" interview. The whole thing smells of frantic damage control.

    It's over, and on some level they already know it, even if they don't dare admit it. At this point, it's about protecting their paychecks while the clock runs out on them. Argentina, Judge Tauro, Boies and Olsen, the Hastings Law School ruling (Ginsburg), the poll trends: it's over. Even Laura Bush said "gay marriage is coming" and she was okay with that. This is over.

    They could be putting all this energy into learning some new skills for the day when they need to find real jobs.

  • 16. LarryOhio  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Considering the heat and oddly strong winds, there was a good turnout on both sides. Both Greg and I counted the NOM protesters separately and we each came up with 32, not including the organizers. We counter-protesters numbered 19. Is this the first time NOM outnumbered us?

    Some counter-protesters told us that a separate rally/picnic was being held at a park nearby at the same time as the NOM rally, so our numbers may have taken a hit because of that.

    It was all very peaceful. Plenty of police all around who kept their distance and did not interfere one bit. We set up our protest line within about 50 feet of the NOM podium. Both sides were busy photographing each other like zoo animals. It was a good way to spend our two-year wedding anniversary :-)

  • 17. Scotty B  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Slaggie now says, "Our job this November is to elect politicians who will vote to protect the people’s right to marriage. " Now marriage is a "right". Can't they even keep their own stories straight? Wasn't it not that long ago that Slaggie was telling us that marriage "is not a right". I am so confused. So marriage is a right if your straight, and probably white too, but if you are gay it isn't a right. How in this country can she even make sense of that in her mind. Does she not know that we are all equal under the law, and if something is a right to one person it is a right to ALL people?! Maybe Slaggie needs to go back to school and relearn some basic civics. Probably didn't have enough time the first time around having pre-marital sex and all.

  • 18. Straight Grandmother  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Well, I'll bet a couple of them could have a good future career as bus drivers, LOL.

  • 19. Straight Grandmother  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I again would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing up. I truly think it is important to counter protest right at their rally site. Many many many thanks from Provence France.

  • 20. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:53 am

    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?

    I'm going to guess "B."

  • 21. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Why would they get Rep Jim Jordan to speak in Lima, rather than Columbus… hmmm? Because he refused to speak at the more visible rally, perhaps. An then he's a no-show but sends a note.

    See if this subscribing thingee works.

  • 22. Ronnie  |  July 24, 2010 at 6:56 am

    NOM is very well on its way to standing for:

    National Organization for Malfunction……lol….<3..Ronnie

  • 23. Straight Grandmother  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Ronnie, that is a good one. I am partial to National Organization of Morons (I didn't come up with that another poster did).

  • 24. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Dave, I have this awful feeling that once they realize they can't milk the issue of OUR equality for money that they will find some other group to harass publicly. And it will probably be immigrants.

  • 25. VRAlbany  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Regarding Subway girl's comments…
    I think the debate over whether or not homosexuality is a choice is largely irrelevant. Even if orientation wasn't an inborn trait (I know that it is, btw), that is still not reason enough to deny the benefits and protections of marriage to same sex couples. Everyone here knows that who you want to have a relationship with, or who you want to marry affects no one outside of that relationship.
    NOM has no ground to stand on when it comes to denying freedom of choice of their fellow American citizens, and at least Subway Girl realizes that. Good for her.

  • 26. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Nom is so used to doing their dirty work behind the scenes where nobody can see or comment.They are not used to this. They don't know how to spread fear out in the open.
    I hope the local papers in the cities they visit share with public the embarrasing low turn out for NOM!

    Maybe they should learn from the KKK and do their work behind sheets and at night, they may feel more comfortable and at home that way!

    So sad this has to be happening in this country, where we are all supposed to be treated EQUAL!!

  • 27. VRAlbany  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Ugh…. I HATE the "marriage isn't a right, it's a privilege" argument. That is irrelevant too! I might go so far as to agree that marriage is indeed not a guaranteed right. But what IS a right is that we all are supposed to be treated equally under the law. If you're going to going to deny the benefits and privileges of marriage to some, but not others, there needs to be a good reason.

  • 28. TPAKyle  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Now marriage is a “right”… That's our message!

    Can anyone put together a mash-up video highlighting Mags' inconsistent position on this?

    Be fun to make that go viral!

  • 29. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Sorry Dave, stupid question. Who is this Louis/Lewis everyone is mentioning?

  • 30. Alan E.  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Gonna try this again

  • 31. Wade@MacMorrighan.Ne  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Hey, wouldn't it be awesome if the KKK actually showed up at their rallies in support?! MUWAHAHAHAHA!!! They'd almost surely go down in flames after that sort of a debacle.

  • 32. Alan E.  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Woo hoo! It worked!

  • 33. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:31 am

    They are. Look for any contributions from the Knights of Columbus. And remember on the videos the men in the tuxedos with white jackets? They are Knights of Columbus, and if you noticed the military bearing that is because most KofC are former military, and most of those who are 4th degree (which includes the men Brian pointed out at the NJ rally I think) are retired commissioned officers.
    there is more about the collusion between the LDS and the RC in the documentary 8:TMP. It also goes into the beginnings of their money laundering unit, NOM.

  • 34. Heather Sheridan  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Could you imagine a phot like the one of the knights of columbus but instead being the KKK in all their hooded glory (LOL) standing behind nasty maggie? That would make national headlines and give their tour publicity. LOL.

  • 35. Dave in CA  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:35 am

    "Louis" – Louis Marinelli (sp?) who is allegedly the mastermind behind the NOM tour. At one time NOM (publicly) kept their distance from him as he was apparently too much of a "fringe nutjob" but lately they seem to have embraced him. About the same time that Maggie left the presidency of NOM to Brian B (even though she is still on the board.) He has been seen among the NOMers on this tour.

    "Lewis" is a fellow that Arisha introduced us to some days ago; he is apparently the NOM counterpart to our documentation team on the ground.

    Some speculation here that "Lewis" is Louis in real life.

    Others here can set me straight … no wait, I meant, can correct or clarify if I have misrepresented anything.

  • 36. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I believe they will hit Minnesota no matter what, and DC, because they already have an investment in those fights. How much they do in between will be a triumph of delusion over sense.

  • 37. Bob  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:38 am

    thanks for the link, well worth the read

  • 38. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Unless the School Board in Texas has their way and gets all the textbook publishers to revise history and leave out all contributions made to our history by those they don't like.

  • 39. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Yay! Subscribing is working again!

  • 40. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Or even better, what if Fred Phelps and his family showed up?

  • 41. Alan E.  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Wade, you should check out George Chauncey's [he was an expert witness in the Prop 8 trial] book, "Gay New York." It's a fantastic telling of gay history in New York City from 1890 to 1940. He relies on Ulrichs' books a lot.

  • 42. StraightForEquality  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Subscribing

  • 43. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Thanks so much for this report from a 'local'! So glad you were there to represent! BIG HUGS.

  • 44. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I'm pretty sure the person Arisha reported as "Lewis" in one of the earlier posts is in fact Louis Marinelli. He may pronounce his name like 'Lewis' and Arisha assumed is was spelled that way.

  • 45. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Happy Anniversary! And thank you for being there.

  • 46. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

    National Organization of Misinformation

  • 47. rf  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

    perhaps that could be the counterprotest. our supporters in white sheets (who would know) silently standing with signs supporting NOM.

  • 48. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 24, 2010 at 7:55 am

    "NOM "KKK" A dog in sheeps clothing? I don't see much of a difference!

  • 49. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:00 am

    WE would know, and that would make it wrong.

    I admit, it is a tempting idea, but on the other hand, would you want to be associated in ANY way with the KKK, even to make that point?

    I think it is better that we are clear about who we are, that we don't try to infiltrate or anything of that sort. We are better than that. When our videographer approaches, it is clear to Brian and Maggie that this is the opposition, that we are not trying to trap them or trick them… and that way we let them trip themselves ("I am not my Brian's keeper"). Let's keep the high ground here.

  • 50. StraightForEquality  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

    MG definitely needs to learn some basic civics! She actually wrote this today: "But the Supreme Court reads election returns." She thinks the Supreme Court decides cases based on public opinion?

  • 51. StraightForEquality  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I read that as National Organization of Mormons the first time. Probably not too far off!

  • 52. rf  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

    yeah, like i was serious.

  • 53. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:12 am

    National Organization of MIsinterpretations
    (Scriptures, history, and Constitution)

  • 54. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

    StraightforEquality, you are closer to the mark than you realize. If you have not had the opportunity yet, watch the documentary "8: The Mormon Proposition." It tells how the LDS and the RC churches started NOM and handpicked the BOD of the organization.

  • 55. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I didn't think you were… but sometimes it is hard to tell in writing.

    :)

  • 56. A.  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:24 am

    most knights, even fourth degree are your average white catholic guy – who gives the knights money because they think it goes to disabled kids and other charities

    why the bad turnout? its one thing to donate (they must consider all donators "members" because of a manipulative telemarketing scam, or write a check at church…
    and its another to actually go stand out in the heat so the entire community can see you support discrimination.

    in their hearts they know its nothing to do with "saving the family"

  • 57. Wade@MacMorrighan.Ne  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Thanks Allan, I've been meaning to buy his book for quite some time. Would love to see him write some other books dealing with our history that are not so geographically focussed.

  • 58. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I just went back to the NOM blog to catch up and realized that all of the several comments that I had posted over there were killed by the moderators. I wrote a response to that, which I will repost here, since there is not a chance in hell that it will actually see the light of day over there.

    "I find it interesting that I have posted a couple of comments (with different names, as it happens, but that should not matter), none rude or obscene, that do not agree with you, and you have killed all of them.

    I know that the Courage Campaign has INVITED you to post there, to continue the debate, and you have not taken advantage of that. Sad that when someone wants to bring the debate to you, you even run from it here.

    My experience is that most people on the liberal side of any argument will allow you to speak your piece, no matter how much they disagree. Even if they are shouting while you are doing it, they will NOT be the ones saying "you are not allowed to speak", merely "you must contend with the fact that we disagree while you are speaking." Your videographer would never be arrested for filming protesters, but your attempt to have the NOM Tour Tracker videographer arrested for standing at the back of your rally filming you in a public space really begs the question about Brian's claim (on video, check the Courage Campaign site) that you welcome dialogue."

  • 59. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Choice is important for two reasons. Polling and other studies have shown that if a person understands that sexual orientation is not a choice, they are more likely to agree that LBGT rights are civil rights. The churches view it as a sin, a choice to be disavowed and repented, and a choice that can be preached to unsuspecting recruits.

    It is also important because of the convoluted Supreme Court requirements for 'suspect class' status: the group must be distinguished by an 'immutable' characteristic… in this case sexual orientation. If it's a choice, it's not immutable. Other countries (like Argentina) have a more 'straight up' (so to speak) definition of rights. You can't identify a class of people and say rights don't apply to them.

    Subway Girl is a believer in basic rights.

  • 60. Steve  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Just going by feeling, you're right. It shouldn't matter either way. But by constitutional law, a suspect class is determined by immutable traits. Claiming special protection as a minority requires that's it not a choice.

  • 61. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Actually, when I was in the Knights, our Council's Grand Knight read a letter from Carl Anderson the Supreme Knight (international "president") of the K of C about donating to make certain that Prop H8 passed. All donations were to be sent to the HQ in New Haven. There are things that the KofC do which are good, but this started the process of me deciding first that I would NOT take my 4th degree, and later leaving the organization. Especially when one of the requirements is to stand in solidarity with a pope who was a Nazi and has never properly made amends.

  • 62. Owen  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I don't think NOM itself is imploding, but their tour was a miserable idea. Let's review the confluence of circumstances:

    1. It's summer. It's a really, really hot summer – one of the hottest ever, actually. Do they really think their precious bigots want to stand around and fry just to hear things they already believe?

    2. It's summer. It's closing in on election season, but it's not close enough. It would've made more sense, in terms of political timing, to do this in the fall. There's nothing going on right now in any of my local political groups either. Everything on tap in scheduled for September. Everyone's vacationing right now.

    3. Many of their states have either: 1. already decided in favor of equality and don't really have much of a chance of repealing it any time soon, or 2. don't have a marriage battle on the horizon (Ohio being a prime example).

    4. The tour is just downright useless.

    5. It's tough to get your supporters out of the senior center.

    6. NOM doesn't have much of a loyal following. Most of the people who read their website are equality supporters trying to stake out the opposition. If this were a rally of some religious group, it'd probably be more popular.

    That last part is most important. NOM won't implode because they're bankrolled by churches. This failure of a tour just illustrates that NOM doesn't have much grassroots support, rather, they can only raise money when they're used as a front for major religious organizations. This will continue to happen. There's no imminent threat to their overall operation. They'll still get money from Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, etc.

    The real threat to NOM will be the day they can't raise as much money as they did for Prop. 8, which could happen. When the well starts to go dry, that's when the red flags start going up.

  • 63. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Nah, one only infiltrates the KKK as a last resort, as illustrated in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    But seriously…even though it's a comedy, listen to the Klan leader playing on the fears of the crowd. It's such a common refrain.

    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x5uVItB0Uc&hl=en_US&fs=1]

  • 64. Dave in CA  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

    But… if they allowed dissent in their blog comments, then a few people might re-think their own commitments to NOM, and then there would be fewer donors, and then Maggie's and Brian's paychecks would get smaller and … well, we can't have THAT. Someone has to pay those mortgages!

  • 65. StraightForEquality  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

    "Successful" is whatever you define it to be. If NOM defines success as follows then they can say it was successful.

    1. We found the parking lot
    2. There were actually a few people there besides staff
    3. We may be able to make pictures look like there are more people
    and 4. We will be able to spin it to hide the disaster

  • 66. Alan E.  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:43 am

    In the introduction, he explains why he only uses New York and why he doesn't include lesbians. The book is thick enough as it is, it becomes impossible to not make it geocentric or about both gays and lesbians. It's very well done and worth the read (I have a whole new appreciation for drag queens and flaming gays). It's also important to read each note (keep a bookmark in the notes section while reading) because there are some other gems of insight and many other books he references that I want to read later.

  • 67. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I looked. In 2008, Brian's salary from NOM was over $103,000. Wonder what he is making this year?

  • 68. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:45 am

    And that reminds me–OH, Brian, Where Art Thou? After all, he does keep presenting himself as a "Man of Constant Sorrows."

  • 69. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

    If only they would get real jobs and pay their own mortgages instead of sponging off of people who don't know any better.

  • 70. James in Hollywood  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Whatever happened to NOM's 2M4M project?

  • 71. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I must have missed something somewhere. What is the 2M4M project?

  • 72. A.  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:51 am

    ah interesting, nice to have a man whose seen it on the inside, no wonder meeting are "secret"
    my point was though- that fourth degree guys are not all ex military
    AND most knights are in for more nobler goals…and cheap life insurance

  • 73. Bob Barnes  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Two million for Marriage.

    I heard they barely broke a tenth of the target number.

  • 74. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:56 am

    This may seem like a blinding flash of the obvious, but NOM supporters 'practice' their beliefs in private. In church, where they are lectured by their leaders and surrounded by like minded folk, and there are no cameras. In their homes where they write checks and indoctrinate their children. In the voting booth where they can vote anonymously on others' rights. They hide behind their outspoken leaders.

    The supporters that NOM is aiming to get out to their rallies are very uncomfortable in the public eye, not because they suspect they're wrong, but because they've never been publicly challenged or made uncomfortable or held accountable.

  • 75. Indiana wants me  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Maybe Brian Brown is in Indianapolis, working hard to try to save face by getting a big crowd there (on Monday 7/26).

    It would be great if they flopped in Indy, too, course. And were met by a larger crowd of protestors. C'mon Hoosiers!! Is there a Facebook page for a pro-equality protest in Indy on Monday 7/26?

    Per Heather Sheridan: I'm sure they have indeed invested a lot of money in this tour. I don't know much money it costs to put a custom design wrap on a bus like that (cf. http://www.skinzwraps.com/bus-graphics-wrap.html)… but I'm sure it's not cheap. I'd guess at least a grand.

    And what are they getting for their investments? I doubt they've converted anyone to their point of view. I also doubt the already-converted feel all that inspired to go out and further "protect marriage."

    I'm happy to see them squander their funds. (There is, some times, justice in this world.)

    Also, look carefully at the gray haired male model with decorative flaps on his shirt on the NOM bus graphic, posed to the right of his "wife." I very strongly suspect that he's a member of the club.

  • 76. James in Hollywood  |  July 24, 2010 at 8:59 am

    It was something announced about 15 months ago, to much derision in the news. I suspect it simply died a quiet death, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they simply call it something else. Here's a snippet from their site:

    APRIL 8, 2009 — In just a few minutes, NOM President Maggie Gallagher and I will hold a press conference in Trenton, NJ, announcing an ambitious new nationwide "2 Million for Marriage" initiative.

    Over the next two years, we will be organizing two million marriage activists from every state in the nation to form an online army of marriage activists willing to stand up for marriage on a moment's notice, sending emails and making phone calls to legislators whenever marriage is threatened.

  • 77. Rhonda  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

    National Organization of Martytdom

  • 78. Rhonda  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

    National Organization of Martyrdom, even

  • 79. Joshy  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Subscribe!

  • 80. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Just wanted to add to this regarding constitutional law (for anyone who hasn't been following all along): Just because a group of people isn't a 'suspect class' for constitutional protection, doesn't necessarily mean it's okay to pass laws which discriminate against the group. It does, however, mean that the government is held to a much higher standard in justifying the law.

    So far, at the federal level, every case which has found unconstitutional a law which discriminates against g&l's. has done so without determining that g&l's are a suspect class. That is, the analysis has always been that the laws failed even the 'rational review' test.

  • 81. A.  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:22 am

    agree its easier when you dont have to be held accountable…
    and i think they dont want to do that because they know their reasons just dont hold water, or perhaps it is that they realize, most wont agree with them

    gutless whatever the reason

    maybe brian is off trying to rally better support

  • 82. Dave in Maine  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Is there any way to have the comments automatically emailed to us like the actual entries are?

    Dave

  • 83. Bolt  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I would guess that BB is holding secret discussions with the pious leaders of the major religious corporations. They're discussing how they can protest V. Walker's ruling that will blow the wheels off their stinky bus for fat people.

  • 84. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Another PR failure, but for entirely different reasons. For anyone who doesn't get the gaff, look up "2M4M" in an urban dictionary. :)

  • 85. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Yes, like the LAMB (Least Among My Brothers) project–this is the Tootsie Rolls deal and 100% of the money raised goes to helping intellectually challenged individuals, and what is raised in a particular area stays in that area. And I worked several Special Olympics events. And just how cheap the life insurance and the other insurances are really depends on your age. And some of the insurance you are not eligible for unless you are above a certain age, and some of it you can't get if you are over a certain age.

  • 86. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Dave, do you mean – as opposed to having to subscribe to each new post? If so, No.

  • 87. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I believe that they quietly ducked the whole idea after finding out what "2M4M" means to the REST of the world… not unlike how they quietly dumped the Carrie Prejean "No Offense" commercial after they found she had done nude photos and made a sex tape.

  • 88. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Hey now, I am a fat person… but I would not get on their bus.

  • 89. Timothy  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:51 am

    It doesn't matter if it's a right or a privilege. The government cannot dole out privileges in a way that is discriminatory.

  • 90. Chris  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

    “Our job this November is to elect politicians who will vote to protect the people’s right to marriage.”

    What does this ridiculous woman think gay people are, space aliens?

    If there's anyone who doesn't believe in the right of the people to marry, it's Maggie and her crew of bigoted churchmice.

  • 91. Ann S.  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

    O Brian, where art thou?

  • 92. Dpeck  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I prefer to think of you as fabulously Rueben-esque. Is that OK? : ) And yeah, I think we can all do better than sinking to making 'fat' jokes.

  • 93. Dpeck  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:30 am

    FOOLISH HUMANS!! MORBO DEMANDS MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW !!!

  • 94. Dave in Maine  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I agree.

    Isn't religion a sort of choice too? That is very much protected as well. I can decide to be Jewish and expect protection and rights that go with my choice. If you do concede to the ridiculous argument that I choose to be gay and go through this bullshit, then what? So what? As it's been said, it's still discrimination.

    Dave in Maine

    And as for the procreation issue-God knows the neighbors
    down the street have MORE than made up for my allotment of procreative units!

  • 95. jc  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:36 am

    that is a hilarious idea!

  • 96. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I'm lesbian and think it was a choice for me. Please stop saying it's all out of our control. That's nonsense. They'll stop trying to fix us when we stop saying we were all made this way. What in the world is wrong with choosing this life? Accept yourself and move on.

  • 97. Jerry Halstead  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:39 am

    DOM may have a secret plan. They might try to blame the low turn-out on those "Nasty 'Gays" herassing and scaring their "Good, God fearing" marriage defenders from comming out to the ralleys. Might they try to use this as another example in a court proceeding to try to prove why they are the victoms and should be protected by such things as having their names on balot initiative petitions kept secret?

  • 98. Matthew  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I want to see a group of our guys in right smack dab in the middle of their rally in groups of 3s. White shirts saying "NOM: hear no truth" "see no truth" "speak no truth". Covering their respective areas in a mockup of the classic monkey images.

    Great photo op

  • 99. Dpeck  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for getting out there and representing, McD. It's really encouraging to hear that even out in rural areas in the middle of the country there is plenty of visible and vocal opposition to NOM's lies and bigotry. Thanks!

  • 100. A.  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Wanted to answer this because I believe our "choice" is all about whether we will follow our natural inclinations- whether its for same, opposite, or both sexes. While research has shown men's sexuality is more fixed than women's, it it understood that we have a sexual fluidity,
    The APA has speculated that sexual orientation has
    several causes including environmental, biological and cognitive causes. The point is though- that its natural-
    not a choice to be "deviant."

  • 101. Will  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Or just read the Holy Bible, Maggie. Endogamous Polygyny (and Levirate marriage on top of that) was the ideal if not dominant form of marriage in the OT. The celibacy of Jesus and Paul are held up as ideals in the NT. What Maggie calls traditional marriage (which is what I have) is both modern and western.

  • 102. GraciesDaddy  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Actually, I think the Klan would be embarrassed to associate with NOM.

    I checked w/my cousins… they would know.

  • 103. Will  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Sorry, endogamous mean that you marry inside your clan or family group. Polygyny: multiple wives or concubines. Levirate means that if you die without having sired a son, your younger brother marries your wife and any child they have is still considered yours.

  • 104. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

    But what other behavior as complex as this is entirely genetically determined? I just don't buy it. It's natural for all of us to have a choice, to a greater or lesser degree perhaps.

  • 105. Dpeck  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Then we'll just have to rally the troops and show up in large numbers, same as all the other stops on the NOM FAIL Tour. Are there plans for a counter protest?

  • 106. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I don't think of myself as deviant. Maybe that's where we differ.

  • 107. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:07 am

    And I think in time men's sexuality will be viewed as fluid as well. I'll keep my mind open to it.

  • 108. StraightForEquality  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Richard, I put 8: The Mormon Proposition in my Netflix queue before it came out on DVD but it has had "Very long wait" and "Long wait" status. It seems to be available, though. I am glad that lots of people have been lined up to see it. I look forward to seeing it soon.

  • 109. Dpeck  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I think we get into trouble when we discuss this issue of 'is it a choice' and say things about 'all of us'. Leslie, you have probably been subjected to this yourself. Well-meaning LGBT and straight folks saying that sexual orientation is something that 'all of us' are born with, yet your personal experience doesn't align with that statement. And the same is true when you use that 'all of us' phrase as you describe what is true for you personally.

    My personal experience is quite different from yours. I'm a gay man and us guys have… how do I put this delicately… we have a very reliable built-in barometer that clearly indicates when we are sexually aroused and when we are not. Trust me, there is NO choice involved for me. It's a response that is almost as basic and uncontrollable as sneezing. And I am never aroused by the opposite sex. For me, it is clearly not a choice. But I can accept that it could be for some other people, and this issue may be more complex and varied than a simple choice / not a choice variable.

    But in any case, I am entitled to equal rights and equal protections under the law simply because I am a citizen, and the state should not make laws or constitutional amendments that prevent me from entering into a civil marriage with the person I choose as my partner in life.

  • 110. Kevin  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:23 am

    That isn't sound reasoning, legal or otherwise. Even if same-sex desire were chosen (and it isn't) it does not necessarily follow that homosexuality is immutable. I may choose to cut off my limbs or shoot myself in the spine, and my condition cannot be changed after the fact. Certain choices are, by their very nature, irrevocable. The 'choice argument' is a red herring; as the trial demonstrated, all accredited professionals agree that regardless of how one becomes gay or lesbian, once they are, they cannot (and should not) be changed.

  • 111. A.  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

    i had "deviant" in quotations for a reason.
    that NOM and other hate groups (as well as many churches/societies) consider homosexual activity "deviant" chosen behavior where science is saying- umm no. perfectly natural human variation.

    no…not everything is biological.
    However sex drive is mediated by hormones and functions within the mid brain not something within our conscious control

    think of it like…the self hating closet cases, despite their best conscious efforts, end up in gay bars and on vacations with rent boys.

  • 112. eDee  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:35 am

    One needs to fully understand ones enemy. (Please forgive my spelling and grammar I was raised and educated by the people I am about to describe and English as a first language wasn’t a top priority.)

    GLBTs are fighting for their right to marry, their dignity and I’m sure several other rights I don’t fully understand (because I‘m straight and never walked that mile).
    Your enemy on the other hand, has nothing to lose. I want to make sure you understand this, they have absolutely nothing to lose.
    They are not mortgaging their homes to pay for NOM/the tour. They won’t lose anything if they fail. When they fail they can chalk it up to Satan getting the upper hand, but its all part of God’s greater plan. They will save face no matter what happens.

    These people do not respect you, not your rights, or not even your very life. You may think you understand that, but unless you have been to the youth rallies and church functions, you can’t fully understand the motives of these people or their way of thinking. They have planned strategies that they teach us as youngsters, on “Dealing” with gays. This kind of brainwashing is a hate crime in itself! “God hates the sin, not the sinner – hey look there‘s a sinner, lets go beat the sin out of him.” They easily motivate people to that point.

    There is a say “no well behaved women ever made history” and that’s what they want from you. They want people to see GLBT’s as misbehaving, sex offenders, child molesters, small minded, evil doers.
    There’s another saying – “You have to play by the rules” and in this case you have to play by their rules.
    Imitation maybe the highest form of flattery, but it also tricks the brain into thinking that people have something in common. If you mimic their body movements, hand gestures, their way of dressing, it will throw them off. It’s a psychology trick. If you are talking to a NOM supporter and lets say he fusses with his tie, take a second and fuss with your cuffs. If a NOM staffer scratches her nose, wait a second and adjust your glasses. When you mimic them they can’t help but relate to you and once they relate to you, you’ve won half the battle.

    Also, please keep in mind, not all Christian are haters. And many Christians have been lied to for so long its a way of life they don't realize what they are doing. Getting in their face or asking them pointed questions only proves (in their mind) that they are right.

    NOM is going to start busing people in. They are going to send their staffers ahead, rally up the youth, put them on a bus, buy them lunch and truck them in. BEEN THERE DONE THAT!
    There doesn’t need to be more of you, you just have to be more respectful and show compassion – they can fake respect, they can’t fake compassion when their words are full of hate.

  • 113. eDee  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Why is my comments just post where ever they please and not at the bottom of the page?

  • 114. Dpeck  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Are you clicking on "Reply" instead of "Leave a comment" ? BTW, very good post eDee. Thanks!

  • 115. Kevin  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I'm not sure if this was posted before or not. In case it wasn't:

    PHOENIX — A federal judge is blocking Arizona from implementing a state law that eliminates domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian state employees.

    U.S. District Judge John Sedwick on Friday issued a preliminary injunction that requires the state to still make family health insurance available to gay and lesbian state employees who have established relationships that meet standards set under state administration rules.

    The judge also dismissed part of a lawsuit challenging the prohibition but left another part intact, allowing the suit to continue.

    The Legislature included the prohibition in a budget law enacted last September.

  • 116. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I couldn't help but giggle when I saw these signs. They reminded me of the slogan about Texas "Don't mess with Texas – It's Already Messed Up Enough" (w/ apologies to the Texans here) http://www.limaohio.com/sections/article/gallery/

  • 117. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Fabulously Rubenesque? I accept!

  • 118. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    @GraciesDaddy,

    Well, yeah, NOM has that Bishop Harry Jackson feller….

  • 119. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Wow, promoting fear and ignorance really pays.

  • 120. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Kathleen,
    That ranks up there with the urban dictionary meaning of "teabag." I swear, I would not have been able to keep a straight face if I were reporting on this….

    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLsKt4O4Yw8&hl=en_US&fs=1]

  • 121. eDee  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    That's the thing, I'm not clicking reply.
    Even odder, whenever I load a page and scroll down to the bottom I see :

    Leave a Comment
    Click here to cancel reply.

    But I haven’t clicked reply, so I click there to cancel, everything looks happy happy, the little box is on the bottom of the page, but for some reason my comments will post just about anywhere on the page.

    I build wordpress templates and edit wordpress code, I've never run across this issue before – and now I'm trying to recreate the issue on one of my test blogs so I can fix it lol I have a low "driving me nuts" threshold.

    Glad you liked the comment – I’m doing my “Hater Profiling” lol

    PS, this time I did click reply lol

  • 122. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Futurama reference FTW

  • 123. MJFargo  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Despite the poor turnout for NOM, I'm not naive enough to believe we've turned some grand corner. The words at these events reach far and wide. Even the Phelps' never have that many folks at their awful "demonstrations," but those hateful words (and photos of their events) reinforce those so inclined. We have to counter every move. The last poll here in California showed there had been little to no movement for (or against) marriage equality.

  • 124. Greg in Oz  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Sorry Leslie, but I strongly disagree.
    Being gay for me was as innate as breathing. And I think I can say the same for most of my friends.
    I find any GLBTI person saying this hard to swallow.
    If, as you say, you 'chose' this lifestyle, then may I ask why. Dont get me wrong, I'm Gay, proud and out – but I do find it hard to believe that someone would deliberately 'choose' a lifestyle that runs counter to the culture that your in.
    I wonder if your not one of the trolls – no offense if your not – but statements such as these – well I just cant bring myself to believe that any GLBTI would say that. I dont know – maybe it's different for women, but I think most gay guys will tell you it wasn't any where near a 'choice'.
    Greg in Oz

  • 125. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Can somebody find "Man of Constant Sorrows" from "O Brother Where Art Thou"?

  • 126. Sarah  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    (This is me assuming that most NOM supporters are Christian, and/or religious.) I think part of it at least is that they are afraid of the challenges to their "firm beliefs" that may cause them to question what they have been told by their churches. With questioning, sometimes comes doubt. And many people believe that doubting your faith is horrible. I personally know that it can give it more strength.

    I mean, how can evil LGBT people be standing there peacefully? How can they look like my neighbors? How can they take their kids to the playground just like I do? How can I look them in the eyes and tell them that I hate them and disrespect their humanness and need for love?

  • 127. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Actually, Will, it is only the first son of a levirate mariage that is considered to be the son of the deceased.

  • 128. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Sarah,

    I was just noticing that the very act of leaving their protected place is traumatic for them…. being in a public place at all, never mind that there are cameras. Never mind that they might actually see awful gay people not 50 feet away from them. Before they have a chance to notice that these are ordinary people who smile and talk to you, who have kids and – gasp- dogs.

    Just saying, shouldn't NOM know this about their own people… that they won't be eager to show public support in large numbers when their churches and homes are such safe places for them.

  • 129. Ann S.  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Here you go, Richard:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08e9k-c91E8

  • 130. fiona64  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I am still reading Louis' blog, and am still banned from posting (Hi, Louis!). Louis may have been at the parking lot today, but you really should see his spin on the Columbus rally. http://louisjmarinelli.blogspot.com.

    I don't know what Louis is smoking, but it's quite clear that he doesn't have enough for the entire class …

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 131. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    In Iowa, you could have signs that say "Don't mess with MY marriage."

  • 132. fiona64  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Heh. Two girls who lived near me as a kid have grown up to have five and six kids respectively.

    I somehow think that my decision to be childfree is more than made up for here — and no one denied my husband's and my marriage due to my surgically induced infertility. :-)

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 133. Ray in MA  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    You silly girl Leslie! Is it that a girl can just lay back and let in a man or woman? Well if that's the case, on the opposite side of the specturm, a guy has do all the work to make it go in.

    I did try a few times to make it go in, and it wouldn't. Hence, I had NO CHOICE other than to put it where it would go in… there you have it! I HAD NO CHOICE (but I've had a lot of fun!)

  • 134. Kathleen  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    The thing I was actually surprised by was his claim that the child of the couple (pictured w/the stroller) couldn't possibly be their child for the mere fact that she "must" be adopted. Aside from the assumptions it makes (who's to say the child wasn't carried by a surrogate and one of them isn't, in fact, the bio father of their daughter), I wonder how all those good Xtians who have adopted children feel about the claim that adopted children aren't really your children?

  • 135. Ray in MA  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    They all look so pale, sick, and overall unhealthy. This may reflect on their mental health as well. (they can't even stand on their own two feet for a twenty minute speech)

  • 136. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Fiona, Thumper's mother was a very wise rabbit who said, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

    Not nice things running through my mind on reading Louis. However, for one thing, listening goes both ways. The NOM crowd never listens to what the marriage equality side has to say.

    And I thought the two men and their daughter looked like a very nice family.

    As for "Who will speak for this and all the other children who are adopted and are being subjected to a house of homosexuality?" Isn't that what social services and the various agencies that vet adoptive parents are for?

    Louis needs to get a life and stop worrying about how other people live theirs.

  • 137. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Reid Makes a Promise to Dan Choi for Gay Rights
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20011585-5

  • 138. Rhonda  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-selkoe/death-t

  • 139. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I would love to know what Louis is smoking. He managed to disparage marriage equality and adoption all in one sentence. And what makes it even worse is that he definitely had been smoking to much to proofread his work before he published it. He had their for there and hollaring for hollering, among other spelling and grammtical errors I noticed. But I guess children his age just aren't getting the same quality of education that I got when I was in school.
    Had this been submitted to any of my English teachers, or to any of my college English Composition professors, it would have been handed back to me for a rewrite, and I would have been penalized one letter grade for each day it was late, including the days it took for the teacher or professor to get to it and give it back to me. In short, he would have failed on this paper.

  • 140. Rhonda  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Mark Your Calendar! NOM Marriage Tour Comes to Iowa!
    Posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2010

    The NOM Marriage Tour 2010: One Man, One Woman is coming to Iowa!

    Mark your calendar now. The NOM Marriage Tour will be in Iowa on Sunday, August 1st (Des Moines) and Tuesday, August 3rd (Sioux City). Please make an effort to join us at one of these two rallies, as we build support for marriage in Iowa!

    This year is a pivotal year for the future of marriage in Iowa. Ever since the courts forced same-sex marriage on the entire state last year, a handful of politicians have blocked every effort to let the people of Iowa have the final say at the ballot box. The outcome of this November’s elections will decide the fate of the Iowa marriage amendment for another two years.

    If we don’t stand up today, it will soon be too late!

    Des Moines Rally
    Sunday, August 1 at 2pm
    Iowa State Capitol
    Des Moines, Iowa 50319
    Click here for directions.

    Sioux City Rally
    Tuesday, August 3 at 12pm (noon)
    Location to be determined.
    Sioux City, Iowa

    A good turnout is important at each of these events, as the media has begun paying close attention to the Summer for Marriage Tour stops. *{as our turn out so far sux } Please contact your friends and neighbors, urging them to join you at one of these Iowa rallies. Use Facebook or other social networks to spread the word. You can even RSVP online (click here for Des Moines, or click here for Sioux City), or just show up to stand for marriage! We’ll be back in touch shortly to confirm the Sioux City location.

    So come on out for an inspiring hour, hearing from terrific speakers, meeting up with old friends from marriage battles of years past. . . . and making some new friends as well!

    See you there!

  • 141. Michelle Evans  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    For Leslie, and the others that have answered her about being LGBT being a matter of "choice." I'm actually surprised that no one has spoken of the obvious answer in this case, so I guess it's up to me.

    I absolutely respect the idea that to Leslie her sexual orientation is her choice. But to verify this I would ask you the question: do you also find yourself attracted to men and may have sexual relations with them, or have you just found you are attracted to women?

    If you do find an attraction to both men and women, you are in the B category of LGBT. There's nothing wrong with that. You are simply bisexual. If, on the other hand, you have found that the only people you actually enjoy sex with happen to be women, then you have just "discovered" that you are lesbian. Either outcome is perfectly acceptable, but if your are bi, then it explains why you may not understand why so many of us in the LG&T part of the spectrum find it is not a choice. By definition, you do have a choice, that's why you are bisexual.

  • 142. Anonygrl  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Meeting up with old friends from marriage battles of years past?

    Sounds like a party to me.

  • 143. Michelle Evans  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    One thing I find very interesting in looking at the full list of NOM stops to come between now and the end in DC, is the lack of a location already set with so little time left until the events occur. Are they having trouble figuring out places to meet? Or maybe they are looking for more closed grocery store parking lots.

  • 144. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    But I am a lesbian and have lived with my partner for 22 years. We are legally married in California. Most people have some attraction to people of both sexes. Are you saying you hate your life so much that you wouldn't choose it? You don't want to stay this way? Did someone have to convince you that your life is okay? Do you want to be cured? I don't!

  • 145. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I think you're afraid to admit you like it enough to choose it. When you can do that, you will be free.

  • 146. Box Turtle Bulletin &raqu&hellip  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    […] Courage Campaign’s tour trackers had a different count In our most rural tour stop to date, the NOM bus tour has taken us to a parking lot, in front of a […]

  • 147. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Why can't we just fall in love with anyone we want?

  • 148. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Grow up.

  • 149. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Yay Harry Reid!!!

  • 150. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Why can't we marry anyone we want? Why does sex matter AT ALL??

  • 151. Leslie Basden  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I meant why does the sex of our chosen spouse matter at all.

  • 152. Marlene  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Could he be a member of the Sons of Jacob?

  • 153. Marlene  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Let's not forget the documentary Before Stonewall, which chronicled the lives of lesbian and gay Americans before the landmark riot in New York City.

    IIRC, it includes the entries of a gay *Puritan*!

  • 154. Marlene  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Mainly because Lima is in his congressional district, Sagasse and not Columbus.

    Not surprised he'd send a note. He's a noted bigot, just like his predecessor, Mike "I want mine" Oxley.

  • 155. Marlene  |  July 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Here's one better: Nimcompoops, Oxygen-deprived, Malignancy on society

  • 156. Steve  |  July 24, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    "Most people have some attraction to people of both sexes."

    So, ARE you attracted to both sexes? Then you are bisexual and not strictly gay. You may have a very strong preference for women. That's fine. But that would still make you bi.

    As for your comment above about genetics. I don't think it's so much pure genetics, but hormonal. That would also be one explanation of changes in sexuality with some women later in life.

  • 157. Marlene  |  July 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Okay — Here's the URL for the story in the Lima News: http://www.limaohio.com/news/pull-52920-crowds-ra

    If this doesn't work, I was able to get it via Googling "NOM rally in Lima, OH".

    Nothing on the local AM radio station's website, but here's an ultra-short text story on WLIO-TV's website:

    A non-profit organization wants to protect the institution of marriage, and they are traveling all over the county to gain support. The national organization for marriage group stops in to Lima as part of their 23 state tour. Tour director Maggie Gallagher says their goal is to speak out about the value of a marriage between a man and a woman. Audience members gathered in the old Dave's Market parking lot to hear various speakers and support the tour. Protestors also gathered for the event holding up signs to voice their opinions. Martha Daniels and Elizabeth Davis were among the protestors, Daniels and Davis traveled from Ann Arbor Michigan to attend the rally. The national organization for marriage will continue their summer tour in Indianapolis on Sunday.

  • 158. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Fiona I clicked on the link you provided and I'm being honest. I'm in tears! As much as I try to not let it bother me, what louis said about those two men and their baby was so unbelievably hurtful.
    I could never say anything like that about any two people that are providing a loving home to a child who was obviously not being cared for by it's biological mother and father! So much for one man and one woman!
    His words are HORRIBLE!!

  • 159. Straight Grandmother  |  July 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    If you read the article in Sagesse's link it was very very moving about Lt Dan Choi going on stage at the netroots convention and giving Senate Majority Reid his graduation ring from West Point. It brought tears to my eyes, really it did.

  • 160. Straight Grandmother  |  July 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Marlene, I tried to go read the local newspaper article but you had to register first. After putting in my name and password etc it took you to the second page and you had to pay. I didn't care that it was 75 cents for one day access, but mainly did not want to bother to fill in all my credit card information. Can you please give us a summary of the news article. I don't think you should re-post it in it entirity, copy paste as I don't think this news organization wants that. So jsut a summary would be appreciated. Thank you!

  • 161. draNgNon  |  July 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    off topic for this post, but following up on earlier issues brought up here and elsewhere, did anyone see this – Sonoma County has settled in the elder abuse case for Clay Greene & Harold Scull – to the tune of $600K –
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/

    I personally suspected what was happening had less to do with discrimination wrt sexual orientation (although there were some mean comments by staff about his partner) and more to do with a scam to rip off elders in general. but still, I hope this case will put the brakes on it.

  • 162. eDee  |  July 24, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    The name and email address you enter when you leave a comment doesn't matter, they can see your IP. Unless you have dial up or use a IP hider they know who you are by those numbers.
    With many programs like theirs (and this one) you can remove all comments posted from an IP address with 2 clicks, you just have to have the right plugin.

    They are not like you. You jump at the chance to talk to people, to have them see our side even if they don't agree, to welcome them into the community. I've never felt more welcomed into a community forum as when someone referred to me as a "straight ally" Before it was You, Them and the rest of us, you all made it "us and them" making me part of the You.
    That's what they are afraid of, if people are allowed to read your comments they could see your side, see you as human, the brainwashing could fail – that's how I was won over! lol

  • 163. Ray in MA  |  July 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Leslie, you CAN'T tell someone else it is NOT A CHOICE based on your personal experiences and observations. That's what THEY do. and it's rediculous. ONLY I can tell you it was not a choice for me. Get wit the program honey… I am actually suspecting you of being a troll here.

  • 164. Sagesse  |  July 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    List of Prop 8 Decision Day events

    Prop 8 Decision
    Day of Decision Community Response
    http://equalityevents.ning.com/events/event/listB

  • 165. fiona64  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:10 am

    You all pretty much had the same reaction I did.

    If I had still been allowed to post at Louis' blog (Hi, Louis!), I would have had only this to say:

    "And they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love; they will know we are Christians by our love."

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 166. fiona64  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I think their permits may not be finalized yet. Each jurisdiction has a different requirement. I know, because I used to manage permits for the Presidio of San Francisco. If someone wanted to do an event/shoot a film/whathave you in San Francisco, chances were good that they needed a permit from us (the Army), the Golden Gate Bridge District and the City itself — and all of us had different timeframes and requirements before the permit was finalized.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 167. Dave in Maine  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Well, good luck rallying the troops in Iowa. Seems as if they have more important issues on their minds:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/us/politics/08i

    June 7, 2010
    In Iowa, Other Issues Crowd Out Gay Marriage
    By MONICA DAVEY

    DES MOINES — When Iowa became the first Midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage a year ago, opponents said the issue would drive future political races, and some even pledged to work to remove the State Supreme Court justices behind the decision.

    With Iowans going to polls on Tuesday, same-sex marriage has been a matter of debate among the Republican candidates for governor, but the issue appears to have been overtaken by voters’ worries about jobs, the economy and the state’s budget misery.

    “Too many other things are upsetting people,” said David A. Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and a former political reporter for The Des Moines Register.

    Mr. Yepsen said the race for governor had essentially been transformed into a referendum on the performance of Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat seeking his second term.

    At least 2,020 same-sex couples have married in Iowa since the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled in April 2009 that a state law barring such unions was unconstitutional. The ruling set off a flurry of efforts to take the matter to voters, but any such referendum on a constitutional amendment requires the approval of two consecutive General Assemblies, and the Democratic-led legislature has resisted the notion.

    Mr. Culver is unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, but three Republicans — including former Gov. Terry Branstad — want to replace him. All three say they favor allowing a vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but one of the candidates, Bob Vander Plaats, has gone further, calling for an effort to remove the three justices on the State Supreme Court, who are all on the ballot this November.

    Mr. Branstad, who departed a dozen years ago after four terms and who, as governor, signed the state law banning same-sex marriage that was struck down last year, holds a 28-point lead in the latest poll by The Des Moines Register.

    Some of the strongest opponents of same-sex marriage, including the Iowa Family Policy Center, say the issue remains crucial here (The Register’s poll found that 77 percent of Republican voters said the issue should be brought to the voters).

    The policy center’s political action committee has endorsed Mr. Vander Plaats and taken the unusual step of announcing that it will not support anyone in November if Mr. Branstad is the Republican nominee.

    Bryan English, a spokesman for the center, acknowledged that efforts to remove Iowa’s justices had gained little steam, but said that his group intended to single out state legislative races in the fall in an effort shift the partisan balance there.

    Supporters of same-sex marriage say Iowans are mostly tired of the issue.

    “They want to move on,” said Justin Uebelhor, a spokesman for One Iowa, a gay advocacy group. “They want elected officials to focus on jobs, the economy, improving schools.”

    Dave in Maine

  • 168. Marius  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:14 am

    What?!? Dos this mean the decition is coming monday?

    Love
    M

  • 169. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:15 am

    I for one am glad that you are one of our allies, and I am glad that you were able to sit down with someone and talk with them long enough to see that we are human. You are also able to give us great insight from your own life and first hand experience about the transition from being brainwashed to be a hater to learning the truth and becoming an ally. Thank you for being here, and thank you for your support.

  • 170. Dave in Maine  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Yeah, that's what I meant. Okay! Thanks!

    Dave

  • 171. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Straight Ally #3008, I can definitely understand why you would not have been able to keep a straight face if you had been reporting this. After all, even Rachel Maddow had trouble, and did actually start laughing. But then, with folks this ridiculous, it is difficult, if not impossible, to avoid laughing.

  • 172. Felyx  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Regarding the choice debate, I hear it said that Gay is a choice whereas Race is not. I tested that theory and claimed several racial heritages on several legal documents over my life to see if I would win scholarships, be allowed to participate in clubs and even claim minority status in the job market. So far I have never been challenged.

    Turns out that legally speaking your racial identity is whatever you wish to claim it is. There are no genetic tests, you do not need to provide documentation of heritage one does not even need to 'look' like a minority. (The exception would be in the case of Native American Indians of certain Tribes and as far as I know, it is not a Federal regulation but a tribal one.)

    So is race inherent or is it a choice? In fact, is there any such thing as race, or are we just humans with deeply held prejudices?!!!

    Felyx

  • 173. Felyx  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

    It would be nice if you sourced your information.

    Felyx

  • 174. Sagesse  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:24 am

    But Dave, they're not trying to win an election, they're trying to one-tenth fill a parking lot :).

    Sorry, the snark got out again.

  • 175. Sagesse  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Just a reference for where people on gathering 'on the day', whenever the day is.

  • 176. Randy  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Unfortunately, all the protests have been up north…just wait until nom starts coming to the southern states, especially Florida. There is a church on every corner…a lot of HATE in Florida. The last time I checked, the rally was suppose to be on a Sunday afternoon, in which I wouldn't be suprise at all in the topic of "the message from god" is……and they are all told to go to the rally after church. I am trying to get a group to go and counter protest…I hope there will be a whole lot more from our side…I'm afraid it might be a different ball game, when the haters come to the south.

  • 177. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Ray in MA, I also noticed that they were pretty much the same people in all the pictures, just shot from different angles as to make it appear to be a "large" crowd.
    Another way people are minipulated.

  • 178. Sarah  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Love it! That was a jamb-packed 8 minutes… Are Parts II and III made already, or are we waiting on them still?

  • 179. Alan E.  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Tim, their videos are just like that, too.

  • 180. VRAlbany  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Thanks everyone for the extra perspective regarding immutable traits. That does seem to give strength to the argument.
    Either way, NOM has no ground to stand on. Same-sex relationships are harmful to no one, and they have no right to discriminate based on immutable traits OR limit the freedom of choice of others.

  • 181. Sarah  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I think y'all would call this "OT"… There is a great, informative movie out called "For the Bible Tells Me So" that takes an educated look at how being gay is not anti-Christian. It includes talks with real families, some of whom accepted their gay children, others who did not. Including Richard Gephardt with his gay daughter, and the first gay Episcopal Bishop, V. Gene Robinson. It also includes scenes with Bishop Desmond Tutu. I rented it last year before I came out to my family, and subsequently bought it online it was so good, and I thought it might be helpful to my family as well. It made me cry in parts, but was very informative and helpful. Just thought I'd share… http://www.forthebibletellsmeso.org/index2.htm

  • 182. Alan E.  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I don't have the links right now, but I think the whole thing can be seen on youtube in 10 minute chunks.

  • 183. VRAlbany  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Dave,
    Yes, I wanted to mention that too. Religion is definitely more of a choice than orientation ever will be. And as we all know too well, some people will use their religious beliefs to negatively affect the lives of others, more than same-sex relationships would ever affect anyone else. They teach those values to their children too.
    But does that give us ground to deny governmental benefits and protections of marriage to any specific religious sect? I wouldn't say so.
    It's just ridiculous to me that NOM supporters can't make the connection that they are being unfairly discriminatory.

  • 184. Anonygrl  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:13 am

    OK, just so you know…

    The 'Lewis' that Arisha met the other day was, in fact, Louis. Check out his pic on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/louisjmarinelli

    Same guy. Now we know.

    Hi Louis!

  • 185. VRAlbany  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:14 am

    And yes! The procreation issue is such a complete non-issue at all. If people are so concerned that every child should have a 1 mother 1 father family, then they should put their money where their reproductive organs are and start adopting up all the kids in orphanages they seemed to have forgotten about when they were popping out legions of their own brood.
    That would be more useful (in the context of the traditional marriage cause) than just telling same-sex couples they can't adopt these kids and leaving them in the orphanages and foster homes.

  • 186. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Thank you for reminding us of this movie, Sarah. Someone posted the YouTube links to it on another thread, but I am so glad you posted this link. I think it is time we were reminded of this movie, and for those who have not been on here that long, I would advise you to watch it. It is very moving, and it is definitely worth your time.

  • 187. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Dave in Maine, Religion gets a high level of protection for reasons that does not require the 'suspect class' analysis.

    There are two situations in which a law must withstand the highest level of scrutiny when reviewed by courts: (1) It impinges on a fundamental right, or (2) it discriminates against a suspect class. Religious freedom falls into the first category because it is guaranteed by the First Amendment, thus considered a fundamental right.

  • 188. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:30 am

    I am heavily suspecting it, Ray.

    Leslie, there have been a lot of scientific findings in recent years that speak to the biological (i.e. immutable, "non-choice") aspect of sexual orientation. In fact, they believe to have found a "gay gene" in lab mice – it was reported in the past few weeks.

  • 189. Anonygrl  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:45 am

    Actually, since I used the different name when I was at work, the IP is different, but I wasn't really trying to hide anything. I don't care if they know it was "me".

    And I am glad we won you over eDee! Welcome aboard! Come join the fun, have a drink, put on this party hat and be a part of US. And even if we don't agree on everything, you can still be a part of us and we'll talk about it. That is how we roll. :)

  • 190. Anonygrl  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:48 am

    You got it! From NOMs site…
    http://www.nationformarriage.org/site/c.omL2KeN0L

    You can download their financial reports (tax forms, actually) from 2007 and 2008. Some interesting stuff in there.

  • 191. Ronnie  |  July 25, 2010 at 5:07 am

    But see Kathleen, that is where the anti-gays violate our 1st Amendment rights to freedom of religion & the free exercise there of. I for one have no direct affiliation w/a religion but there are some of us who do. There are Churches, Congregations, & Denominations that support Marriage Equality & all LGBT Rights. According to the 1st amendment they have the constitutional right to perform & recognize marriage how they wish too but the anti-gays are advocating that they do not have the right to practice their religions how they wish. They are trying to define who & what is considered a Christian.

    They are not trying to protect marriage. They are publicly trying to turn our country, American, a secular society into a Fundamental Christian, Heterosexual only society; while defining how everybody can worship & exercise their beliefs under Christianity as well as limiting the exercise of other religions that do not go lock in step to Fundamental Christianity.

    But what do I know? I only got all "A's" in both Civics & Political Science. All well, I guess all that money my Mother & I spent on my education was for nothing while Louis Marinelli can't even form a simple grammatically correct sentence…facepalms…..<3..Ronnie

  • 192. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Ronnie, they are also ignoring those synagogues and congregations within some movements of Judaism that believe in marriage equality and will perform chasunahs for couples who are of legal age. Are we Jews to be left out simply to satisfy NOM?
    And what of the Wiccans, the druids, and other religions who do not necessarily believe the same way MagPie, Brainless, and Lurid believe? What of their first amendment rights to religious freedom?

  • 193. Ronnie  |  July 25, 2010 at 5:47 am

    I was throwing out a video/slideshow idea today and a fellow Freedom Fighter for Equality brought me down memory lane with this song…

    In honor of NOM's summer of FAIL tour…thanks for the inspiration Gary…."Cruel Summer" by Ace of Base…<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgcTHf3tbtc

  • 194. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 5:47 am

    We have done so much replying that I can no longer respond to you under your individual posts. You have my real, full name here. I am NOT a troll.

    The research indicates that there is some predisposition, which is what has been said for decades. See Kinsey and other well-known sexual behavior researchers for the facts about BEHAVIOR.

    Almost no human behavior is strictly genetically determined, but especially when it comes to complicated, lifelong behaviors. We claim genetic determination because that's what we believe. It doesn't make it true.

    There is a continuum in terms of of sexual behaviors that is fairly consistent. In FACT, I think we are all born with some genetic predisposition in varying degrees, and we are shaped by good and bad experiences.

    What you indicate is proof of biological determination may be proof of biological possibilities, which we may all have to a greater or lesser extent.

    Believing a thing does not make it so. I think research will bear this out over time. I do think that claiming I am somehow biologically different from my heterosexual sisters works to provide ammunition for those who want to cure us, and again I say I do not wish to be cured, and I do not want people to be forcibly prevented from participating in a life I have found to be much more "fulfilling" for lack of a better word than what partnership with a man might have offered me.

    If we were genetically predetermined, are our children more likely to be homosexual? The argument has holes, and it must be admitted.

  • 195. eDee  |  July 25, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Mmm, makes me wonder if they are getting all their permits. How would someone find out if indeed they had each an every permit at each stop.

    I've help setup rallies, no one ever asked for the permits. Who is at the rallies checking for all the permits? Can anyone just walk up to them and ask to see the permits?

    I think I'd wait until they got to a big city, than have someone who lives in that city call and inquire as to which permits are needed. I bet they are missing one or two here and there. lol

  • 196. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:12 am

    And in response to Felyx's argument that race is not scientifically based, it turns out that bloodlines based on genetic testing can be traced very specifically.

    Henry Louis Gates of "beer summit" fame did a lovely series for PBS called Faces of America, which you can read about and probably view here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/facesofamerica/about/.

    "Race" is actually mostly smoke and mirrors in today's world as we are mostly mutts. We use skin color, facial structure, and other easily seen characteristics to divide people up, but we are well mixed already. We can use genealogy and scientific testing, but in day to day application of the word "race" in the United States, we just believe what we hear with little in the way of fact to back it up.

    By the way, dogs are tested for genetic breeds using similar methods, and mixed breeds are even more mixed up than humans. That's a good thing. Inbreeding creates lots of genetically determined health problems.

  • 197. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I understand this argument about religious freedom as it pertains to churches who welcome glbt people and are willing to perform the ceremony associated with marriage in their particular faith. However, I don't think this argument carried a lot of weight in this particular issue for the following reason:

    In the bans on ss marriage, the state (i.e, the government) is not discriminating by recognizing marriages performed by the clergy of some religions and not others. The state is willing to recognize ANY of the marriages performed by clergy as long as the couple FIRST obtains a valid marriage license issued by the STATE. The state is basically saying it refuses to recognize ANY marriages performed within ANY religion unless the state has first approved of the marriage by issuing a license. So the state is treating all religions the same.

    In making the case for extending secular rights and responsibilities of marriage to ss couples, the focus is, by definition, on the actions by the state. And here, the state is treating all religions the same by requiring that a couple first obtain a license. That brings us back to looking at whether the state is unlawfully discriminating in the way it issues marriage licenses.

    In order to use the argument that the religious freedom of some faiths is being denied by not allowing them to perform state sanctioned ss marriages, it seems to me you'd have to first make the case that the state should recognize ANY marriage that is considered valid by the church/synagogue in which it is performed and then show that the state has been willing to recognize some of these church-sanctioned marriages, but not others.

    I'm not suggesting that this discussion of the fact that some religions' beliefs are being ignored by the state doesn't have its place. At minimum, it shows this isn't an argument between the religious and the non-relgious. And to the extent that the MOTIVE of the state in enacting a law is to promote and protect a religious belief, it points out that the motive favors one religion over another – that is, that this is not only an issue of establishment, but also one of free exercise, of religion.

    So the argument about religious freedom only becomes relevant to the extent the state, in choosing who may obtain licenses, has a religious motive. And all aside from the validity of the argument, as a matter of policy, I prefer that the focus remain on the fact that the state should not be promoting ANY religious view in deciding who can have marriage licenses, rather than arguing that glbt-friendly religions should also be allowed to influence who gets them.

  • 198. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Leslie, your posts keep confusing the concepts of choosing who we are sexually or romantically attracted to, (orientation) and whether or not we choose to follow our attractions or deny them (behavior).

    Basically, you are saying that since you choose to follow your attractions to the same sex instead of deny them, this defines you as a lesbian.

    Wrong. This defines you as being out of the closet and living a truthful life. Being attracted to the same sex is what makes you a lesbian, not what you choose to do about it.

    Your arguments sound like those of an uninformed straight person who has never had any direct communication with gay people on the subject. It's very strange.

    From my personal experience, if I never had sex with a man, I would still be gay. Even if I somehow managed to successfully have sex with women I would still be just as gay as ever. It's not what I do that makes me gay, it's who I am sexually and romantically attracted to. And that is something that I do not choose.

    I wouldn't change it if I could, but I do not choose it. And that statement is true for the vast majority of people, gay or straight. Even people who are right down the middle 50/50 bisexual cannot 'choose' who they are and are not sexually and romantically attracted to. Only what they do about it. Do you see the difference?

  • 199. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Sorry, I have to keep backing up to reply. So if I were to say I'm attracted to both sexes, would you classify me as bisexual even if the vast majority of my sexual experiences have been with a woman, than I have lived with a woman for 22 years, and that I am now married to one?

    Are you saying that you have never, ever been attracted to both sexes? How do you define attraction?

  • 200. Felyx  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Thank you Leslie. I hope more people realize that race is just as much a choice as anything else. Abusing race to deny rights is stoopid.

    STOOPID NOMkeys!

    Felyx

  • 201. Trevor  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:41 am

    "What kind of parents use their children as symbols? Coming to the rally and standing there quietly as they did wasn't enough. They had to make a statement – a statement that involved exploiting their own child for their own gain."

    Try (actually don't) doing a Google image search for Westboro Baptist Church and see how many pictures you can find of children holding signs promoting hatred. If you want to talk about child exploitation, this is about the most ridiculous way to make a case. Turn on TLC for a few hours and you'll see plenty (the Gosselins, the Duggars, Baby Beauty Pageants…) This couple simply showed in a quiet and peaceful way that families come in many varieties, which they do every time the step out of the house.

  • 202. A.  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Leslie,
    *pulls out a textbook*
    Schacter, Gilbert, and Wegner Harvard psychology researchers, writers, and professors cite seven different recent studies of homosexuality that have come to the conclusion that there is a genetic role. They also state “Although the science of sexual orientation is still young and fraught with conflicting findings, on fact is clear “Sexual orientation is not a simple matter of choice.” They also go into how previous decades worth of study on homosexuality (psychoanalytic beliefs that it merely behavior) have been DEBUNKED.
    I can cite these studies if you like… we can discuss it in a private email if you prefer.
    Shacter, G. W. (2009). Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.

    Also any cognitive psychologist with tell you, biology influences behavior. Think of it like a computer- your behaviors are your software being run by quite an intricate biological system.

    I have facts to back up my opinion – do you? I never claimed it was all genetic, what I claim is it is not merely a choice.
    Your initial statement was condemning of those who believe in these things, certainly not open minded. Coming on here to tell people its a choice and they need to get over it – is confrontational and troll like
    my souce:
    Shacter, G. W. (2009). Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.

  • 203. Alan E.  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:46 am

    OK I decided to read Louis' blog again, and I noticed this glaring hypocritical view:

    It's not about hatred of homosexuals. How many times have you heard that people who don't support gay marriage don't support it because they hate gay people? Some of the activists today were pushing that very point.

    Followed by this later:

    This baby has been adopted and is being raised in a house of homosexuality and can't even speak yet. Who will speak for this and all the other children who are adopted and are being subjected to a house of homosexuality

    How is that second quote not a point against homosexuality and about marriage?

  • 204. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Now if we could just get NOM , FotF, AFA, Traditional Values and the others to see that point, Kathleen. After all, they keep saying that if marriage equality is granted that their churches will have to perform weddings for same gender couples, thereby ignoring that there are churches, synagogues and what-have-you that we can go to without disturbing their lily white churches to perform our weddings.Since they are bringing this up, this is an issue that we must address that we have not fully addressed in the public arena, just as we have previously failed to address their "Protect the Children" argument. We have got to address every issue they bring up, to prove exactly where they have not got legs to stand on, and to reassure those who are worried about these issues. So even though we are talking about civil marriage and what the state has to say about it, we still have to address the religious issue when they bring it up. And your post shows me that you understand where I am coming from on this. Thank you once again for your insight.

  • 205. PamC  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:49 am

    In addition, there was the (I believe) Celtic (or is it it Nordic?) practice of designating as heir not the son but the "sister-son" or nephew. It was obvious that the king''s sister's child (by another man) was in the family bloodline, whereas you couldn't prove (without DNA testing) that the king's wife's child was actually his.

    Or the Egyptians, who had incestuous marriages for that very reason, to keep the throne in the royal bloodlines. Didn't they do that in Rome, too, near the end of their age?

  • 206. Trevor  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Talk about confusing… while not her words, but her quoting Jamie Gruber, "we are going to fight for marriage." They don't get it. They're not fighting for marriage. We are the ones fighting for marriage.

    Maggie goes on to talk about what marriage means. She doesn't actually state it, but says divorce, unchastity, and same-sex marriage are challenges to it. Divorce and unchastity make sense because, Maggie, marriage is about committing yourself to the person you love and want to spend your life with. Obviously, divorce and unchastity run counter to this. However, same-sex marriage is for all the same reasons as hetero marriage.

  • 207. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I never, ever said there was no biological predisposition. I said I it's not nearly as powerful as people seem to think. Choice is part of the equation based on cultural factors, upbringing and experiences.

    So we agree right?

  • 208. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Richard, we might be talking at cross purposes here. I agree that when engaging in conversations with people who cite their religious views as the reason to deny marriage to ss couples, it's just as important to discuss the question of religious freedom as it is to point out that this is a matter of civil marriage.

    My post is primarily addressing the question that I've seen posed her numerous times as to why this isn't, as a matter of law, a question of religious freedom. I am describing why I think there isn't much focus on this issue when making the civil rights cases in the courts.

  • 209. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:04 am

    @ Leslie: I for one have never been attracted to females in a sexual or romantic sense; only to men. However, I have been married to two women simply to fit in with society and because I was not able at that time to accept who I am. My sexual orientation is not something I chose, nor would I change it. I am currently in what is only the second truly loving relationship of my adult life, and this time I do not have to hide my relationship from anybody. And believe me, I am proud of who I am, but it has taken me a long journey to get to where I am today. You see, I grew up in a house with a loving, Christian mother and an alcoholic, atheist, abusive father. And yes, the abuse I endured at his hands went all the way to include sexual abuse. He identified as straight, and I was not his only rape victim. Nor were all of us he raped male. And yet, at the time it was going on, I could not tell anyone. Not only because I was already in trouble for having reported him to others in the family when he raped my niece (who was his biological granddaughter) but also because at that time, you never heard of males getting raped. Especially not in West Virginia. So I endured this until I could get away from home. Leaving home occurred when I was 18 and joined the Navy. On my recruit liberty weekend after graduating from boot camp in San Diego, I met my first husband. He has served in the USMC with five tours in-country during Vietnam, and he treated me as if I were made of solid gold. We had no secrets from each other and while the sex was wonderful, it was not the major part of our relationship, either with regard to time or importance. It was just a part of our existence. I have never felt the same emotions toward a woman that I have a man. I have a great affection toward women, but it is more of a brotherly affection. I want to be there for them, but not as a spouse. The affection I feel toward women is different. And I feel that women have been oppresses even worse than the LGBTQQI community has. ANd when you look at those who want to oppress us, you will find that most of them are very misogynistic as well as homophobic.
    But no, it was never a choice for me as to my sexual orientation. Acting upon that orientation, being honest enough with myself to finally stop lying to myself that it was only a phase I was going through and allowing myself to live my life to the fullest, however, was a choice. And I do not agree with you that I have to claim my orientation was a choice in order to be fully free and to live my life in happiness, because I don't.

  • 210. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:05 am

    In a word, yes. If someone is sexually and romantically attracted to both sexes, their sexual orientation would be classified as bisexual. Regardless of how they choose to behave. Nothing wrong with that, but that's the definition of bisexual.

    And for me, no, I have never been sexually aroused by a woman or romantically attracted to a woman. Keep in mind that for us guys it is very obvious when we are aroused and attracted to someone and when we are not. In some cases we may be able to 'force' an erection by indulging in same-sex fantasizing, which is how some closeted gay men manage to endure an opposite-sex marriage, but that is not the same thing as being aroused by a woman. And it's very difficult or impossible to stop an erection from happening when we ARE aroused. It is not something that can be controlled or done as a matter of 'choice'. So whan a guy gets an erection as a result of an attraction to another man, and he doesn't get them as a result of an attraction to a woman, it;s a very clear indication that he is gay. Even if he never has sex with a man and even if he does have sex with women.

    But again, I find it very strange that this line of questioning is coming from someone who is in a 22-year same sex relationship. How could you not know this stuff?

  • 211. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Leslie, you CAN’T tell someone else it is NOT A CHOICE based on your personal experiences and observations. That’s what THEY do. and it’s rediculous. ONLY I can tell you it was not a choice for me. Get wit the program honey… I am actually suspecting you of being a troll here.

    I think you have been drinking. I haven't told anyone it is not a choice. I haven't told anyone it has no basis in biology either.

    Your program is harmful to the cause, so I will not get with it. There are many roads that lead to Rome, and how you came to be in Rome is not important. What is important is that no one should have the right to decide for you or for me whom we should love or have sex with or marry.

  • 212. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Oops, my post should look like this:

    Ray in MA wrote:

    "Leslie, you CAN’T tell someone else it is NOT A CHOICE based on your personal experiences and observations. That’s what THEY do. and it’s rediculous. ONLY I can tell you it was not a choice for me. Get wit the program honey… I am actually suspecting you of being a troll here."

    I think you have been drinking. I haven’t told anyone it is not a choice. I haven’t told anyone it has no basis in biology either.

    Your program is harmful to the cause, so I will not get with it. There are many roads that lead to Rome, and how you came to be in Rome is not important. What is important is that no one should have the right to decide for you or for me whom we should love or have sex with or marry.

    Your belief system is yours, it is based on research and media spin (for the purpose of obtaining rights, which it actually hinders), and you have a right to it. My belief system is mine; it is based on research and critical thinking, and I have a right to it. And I have a right to express it just as you do.

    It may be scary, but that doesn't make it false.

  • 213. Kevin  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:17 am

    "Not nearly as powerful as people seem to think." No. We don't agree with you. I don't agree with you in the slightest. I think you are irrationally mapping your personal experience of sexuality onto an entire community. You may well have experience "choice" or "choosing" far differently from others. If I am starving, I may well have a choice whether to feed myself. In this existential sense, choice always exists, but the biological imperative to nourish oneself attenuates the experience of "choice" to such a degree that it is only very rarely — and only in extreme circumstances such as a hunger strike — experienced as such.

  • 214. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:18 am

    You may be right. Of course, I may be wrong, but I thought that most of the argument from the D-I's in Perry v. Schwarzenegger dealt with religious freedom and the religious definition of marriage, which every time I have ever seen a religious wedding ceremony the religious person conducting it always said "holy matrimony," never marriage. And that is why I was mentioning that we need to address this issue as well. Because their side keeps bringing the "religious freedom" argument into this, and especially when they refer to the court cases, we also need to address this issue–in the media, in personal conversations, and also in the courtrooms when they bring it up there. So we may be talking at cross purposes or we may be presenting two sides of the same page as it were. In any event, I do agree with you, and I truly appreciate your insights. In fact, some of your insight actually helped me explain why I was taking the action I did when faced with a request on FB. It had to do with the Tauro decision in MA and why I hope it is appealed and upheld on appeal.

  • 215. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Actually, Leslie, yes you did. You said:

    "Please stop saying it’s all out of our control. That’s nonsense." and "What in the world is wrong with choosing this life?"

    Not sure about other folks here, but these were the things that you said that seemed very odd to me. And they don't apply to my experience as a gay man at all. Again, I'm perfectly OK with being a gay man, but I did not choose it, I have always been this way and it is a fundamental part of my being.

  • 216. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:30 am

    THANK YOU Trevor. Well said.

  • 217. Felyx  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:35 am

    @Alan E

    I think you are misunderstanding Louis.

    There is clearly a difference between hatred of homosexuals and homosexual deviants being viewed as Human. No one hates monkeys but you wouldn't want one raising your kid would you?!!!

    Stoopid NOMkeys!

    Felyx

  • 218. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:35 am

    @Greg in Oz

    I have nothing but compassion for your situation. My female spouse was also sexually abused for years by family members, but she can't untie the knot, nor should she be expected to.

    What you have become is beautiful and powerful, and I applaud you. It must have taken tremendous strength to survive that and in your fear open yourself up to such vulnerability in later life. Perhaps your father saw a vulnerability in you that he exploited. Perhaps he knew you are gay. Perhaps both, perhaps neither. It matters not.

    Your genetic predisposition may be stronger than mine, or it may be weaker, or it may be the same. The science is not there yet and won't be for a long time to come.

    I accept you as you present yourself. We are all individuals and deserve to be allowed to live in whatever happiness we create with the materials we are given and the work we do to build it.

    I am on Facebook. You can friend me and get to know me. If you find me upsetting, you can unfriend me. I hope it won't ever come to that. I'm really a good, kind person. And I love you exactly as you are.

  • 219. PamC  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:38 am

    I was married for 9 years to a man. I was thoroughly convinced that women had emotional intimacy and even longing for company with women, and had only the physical activity of sex with men. When I divorced and 2 years later fell in love with a woman and experienced the physical side of same-sex attraction, it was like HOLD THE PHONE!!!! SO THIS IS WHAT THE FUSS IS ALL ABOUT!!!!

    I had childhood and adolescent crushes on women (anyone else have a crush on Elizabeth Montgomery & Julie Andrews??)…I had early teen sexual fantasies about other teen girls….I am thoroughly a lesbian.

    There's always a choice about behavior, but not about feelings or physical arousal. I don't think it should matter legally, but to some extent it does. I don't think it should color people's attitudes (ain't nobody's business what I do)…but it does. The real world isn't so easily packaged.

    I agree with Dpeck.

  • 220. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:45 am

    @Kevin

    I think you are afraid of the very idea that you made some decisions about what works well for you. I think you are forcing your experience on others. You can be who you want, and you can chalk it up to whatever you want. But is it true? Perhaps, and perhaps not. Just because it is the zeitgeist doesn't make it fact.

    Who is being closed-minded?

  • 221. PamC  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Maybe it's just my baser instincts…but my first thoughts were, why is the man holding his "don't mess with marriage" sign over his genitals, and the woman over her breasts??? :)

  • 222. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:48 am

    You must eat to survive. You do not require sex with others to survive. It is an instinct, a drive, to seek sexual partners, but you can live your entire long life without having any sex with anyone else.

  • 223. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Alan E.
    Louis says in that blog that it's "not about hate". He proved himself to be hipocrite when he continues to dehumanize and judge the two men that brought their adopted child to the rally.
    http://louisjmarinelli.blogspot.com/

    What he said about these two men brought tears to my eye's because it WAS so Hateful and Hurtful.
    I called him on it on his on own blog site and exposed his hateful lies on my facbook page as well.
    He spews hate, there is no way around it

  • 224. Alan E.  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Choice is a part of the equation, but the only choice is your actions (or lack thereof). This is the same bullcrap that many ex-gay groups use, but they insist that their choice is the right one for everyone. You choose to have sex, with whom, or how. You don't choose who you are innately attracted to, and that has a lot to do with both genetic and environmental factors. The only choice you really end up having is if you want to follow those internal desires or not.

    That's also not to say that every desire should be chosen to follow. One must think of consequences or rely on mutually agreed upon understandings within a relationship, no matter how long or short they might last. Your definition of choice, though, depends on others' opinions on something that should be self-determined. That's where the nature of choice really isn't a choice, but a culturally imposed negative evaluation of who you really are. I'm not satisfied with leaving the choice up to others to make for me, but unfortunately, there are many who aren't in a position or are unwilling to make that decision for themselves.

  • 225. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 7:57 am

    It is not all out of our hands. Perhaps some of it is; I'll grant you that. And I think my choices deserve respect too. Isn't it better to powerfully choose than to be a victim of circumstance?

    Would I be as happy in terms of quality of relationship with a man? I doubt it. I had way better options with women. Did you have better options with people of your own sex?

  • 226. Ronnie  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I was born Gay, I know it in my heart, I know it in my soul. I never made any choice to be Gay & I know it. I'm not going into why I know because it has been repeated ad nauseam on this blog & quite frankly I am tired of repeating it. I don't need to justify why I know I was born Gay to anybody Gay or Straight. But if you want to know why & how I know, read the past blog entries. If I remember correctly one of the times I posted why & how I know & that I never chose to be Gay is on one of the "Courageous Stories" threads.

    With that being said, I know that I was born Gay, its Genetic, it runs deeply in my family, & I never made a choice….I can't speak for anybody else but myself and I know that its a fact & the truth….that's it…period…<3…Ronnie

  • 227. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @ Alan

    So choice is part of the equation. If I admit to being attracted to people of both sexes at different times of my life and choose to live with a woman, I can't call myself a lesbian? Despite my 22 year relationship and my legal marriage?

    I choose my path. I 'm proud to call myself a lesbian. We are as varied as any other group of people.

  • 228. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:03 am

    More power to you, Ronnie. And more power to me, too. More power to each of us, however we get here.

  • 229. PamC  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:06 am

    If you make a habit of believing your own lies, it's almost impossible to recognize the truth. Many fundamentalists are so busy constructing the "straw man" caricature of their designated enemies that they don't notice real human beings around them. In Jesus-speak, it's like focusing on the speck in someone else's eye whle ignoring the 2×4 in your own, or even more so, like walking by the wounded, robbed person because of your disdain or fears about "his kind" instead of being compassionate and kind-hearted towards someone because you only see the fellow human, not the caricature. (Whew, that was long-winded; sorry!)

  • 230. A.  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

    trolls

    trolls like starting arguments, causing divisiveness, or at least trying to, take people's statement and twisting them around, causing said people to keep coming back to defend themselves.
    hmmm. not unlike NOM

    curious when i asked our troll to back up her opinion that it is MORE choice than pre-disposition (you know, with not 40 year old disproven research)
    she
    addresses a non-relavent part of my statement

    i'm done playing.

    oh and leslie, if you have had a relationship with both sexes that makes you bi – my dear

  • 231. Alan E.  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

    What you call yourself and what you really are may be two completely different things. You may actually be bisexual, but you may self-identify as a lesbian. There are plenty of ex-gays who are actually gay, but self identify as straight. However, their reasoning for their identification is skewed because of others' opinions and bigotry, thus appearing as a choice, but merely an illusion (or possibly delusion).

  • 232. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:18 am

    PamC- ha-ha, I never would have noticed that. It is things like that that I totally would never notice on my own. OTOH, there was a link here recently about a book that shows pics of GLBT people across America all taken on the same day. Oh my was I surprised to see all these ay people I didn't knwo were gay. The one that I remember the most is that TV commentator, Rachel M? I can't think of her last name right now. I was like, "Oh my she is gay?"

  • 233. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Randy, I am pretty sure I can get my cousin and his wife to go, so you would not be alone. Count on at least 2.

  • 234. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:35 am

    "It is not all out of our hands. Perhaps some of it is; I’ll grant you that. And I think my choices deserve respect too. Isn’t it better to powerfully choose than to be a victim of circumstance?

    Would I be as happy in terms of quality of relationship with a man? I doubt it. I had way better options with women. Did you have better options with people of your own sex?"

    Leslie,

    First, yes, your life and your relationship deserves the same respect as anyone else's. That's why we're all here on this site, which is about marriage equality for all, regardless if they are a same sex or opposite sex couple, and regardless where the individuals may fall on the spectrum of totally straight to totally gay or somewhere in the middle.

    But your comments continue to project your particular situation onto others. Your situation is that you are attracted to both men and women and you happened to fall in love with a woman and you chose to follow your heart and live as a couple. That's a wonderful thing.

    But even in your case, did you CHOOSE who you fell in love with? I'll bet no. The attraction happened, and then you chose to live a truthful life as a couple. Am I right?

    And the fact that we don't choose who we are attracted to does not make us a 'victim of circumstance'. That's just the way love is, for gay and straight people alike.

    And lastly, no, I certainly did not have 'better options' with people of my own sex. What a strange thing to ask. If it were a choice, I would have had far better chances of finding a partner if I could choose to date women and it would have allowed me to avoid all the societal difficulties of being a gay man. But it has never been an 'option' because I cannot 'choose' to be sexually or romantically attracted to women.

    That's what makes me a GAY MAN. See?

  • 235. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Hmmmm intersting topic. I can say that I never made a conscience "choice' to be hetrosexaul. I Like men and that is all. A woman does not turn me on sexually, I don't have fantasies about getting it on with women. I don't want to risk the situation of "too much information" so I'll just say I never chose to be hetrosexual, but I am, and am only hetrosexual. My girlfriends are really just my girlfriends (not in a sexual way). Maybe you are choosing to "like" women, but honestly I don't see how that would work. I do not get it.

  • 236. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:49 am

    IN G L B T – Bi is the hardest one for me to conceptualize. It just seems so odd to me that virtually everybody can turn you on. I am not condemming or saying it in a bad way, I am only saying that I can't get my head around it is all.

  • 237. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Being bi doesn't mean that virtually everyone can turn you on. This is an absurd misconception. You're straight – does virtually every man turn you on?

  • 238. A.  |  July 25, 2010 at 8:54 am

    "Bi is the hardest one for me to conceptualize. It just seems so odd to me that virtually everybody can turn you on"

    ummm. wow. thats not what it means

    I've been attracted to both sexes and had relationships with both sexes but that doesnt mean I am turned on by everybody.
    that kind of thinking creates quite a stereotype- that bi's are the sluts of the lgbt community.
    actually I think thats a reason why some, who are clearly bi, dont want to identify that way.

  • 239. Jude  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:06 am

    James, it is going to be at the State St. entrance to the Capitol. The event is on Facebook and is called March for Marriage Equality.

    It starts at 11am at the UW library mall, we'll march up State St. and be waiting for them. July 27, this Tuesday. They start at 12.
    We have at least 500 people coming and we need more. The bigger our showing the better.

  • 240. Jude  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I want them to implode and decay as quickly as possible. But I do not believe that their low turnout is a sign that they are dead. They overturned same sex marriage in California and Maine. They will use any and all film footage to spread to their supporters and ask for money. This is not about how many people turn out. It's about making Propaganda. I would not underestimate people who will lie about everything.

  • 241. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Uh no not every man tuns me on. Ok I see what you mean. I had no idea that people sterotype BI's as sluts. That is the first I have ever heard of that and I do not think it is right to sterotype people like that. Who makes uo sh*t like that? Let's move on, I just said I have a hard time coceptualizing it, which is true, I meant no harm or bad feelings to anyone.

  • 242. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Yes, it's a misconception, but straight people don't have a monopoly on this one. It's one that many people who identify as gay or lesbian make about people who identify as bisexual. I used to think this myself, when I was much younger.

    It's kinda like the way some straight men think that gay men are attracted to ALL men, and that's why they are uncomfortable with us – they think gay men will certainly be sexually attracted to them. Nope. The great majority of straight guys just ain't all that.

  • 243. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

    @A who wrote:

    "You have had a relationship with both sexes that makes you bi – my dear"

    I never said I had a relationship with a man. I have been attracted to some men. I have had sex with a few. How do you define relationship? Is sex a relationship? Is sex more than once with the same person a relationship? I've had sex with the same man twice because it was good the first time. It was even better the second time. How disparate in time must those two experiences be, in your opinion? And how long ago?

    I've had the same amount of men as women, but I slept a lot more frequently with two of the women. I slept with all of the men first–after age 18–but knew I was also attracted to women from about age 10.

    I'm not trying to speak for you. Please stop trying to speak for everyone else. You are pigeon-holing people even as you say you think it's wrong to pigeon-hole people.

  • 244. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

    And I have not slept with any men since I started sleeping with women, even though I continue to be attracted to some of them.

    We don't all fit your definition. I accept you as you are. Why can't you accept me as I am?

  • 245. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:18 am

    So do you think they have 700,000 members like they brag about? Now that we have seen the real footage and compared it to their lis on their blogs,doesn't it make you question their membership numbers?

  • 246. Straight Grandmother  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Leslie, Just a heads up for you, I am not all that intersted in your sex life. Especially the details. Okay now that that is out of the way, still I encourage you to not give up on this forum and to continue to participate. What did you think about the Lima Ohio Rally?

  • 247. Steve  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

    What they said above. They are turned on by both genders, but not by everybody.

    Aside from that bisexuals may have it the hardest. They are misunderstand and sometimes attacked from both sides. For straight people, they are gay when that isn't the case. And for gay people they are often just confused or gays in denial.

  • 248. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:29 am

    @ Dpeck who wrote:

    "First, yes, your life and your relationship deserves the same respect as anyone else’s. That’s why we’re all here on this site, which is about marriage equality for all, regardless if they are a same sex or opposite sex couple, and regardless where the individuals may fall on the spectrum of totally straight to totally gay or somewhere in the middle.

    But your comments continue to project your particular situation onto others. Your situation is that you are attracted to both men and women and you happened to fall in love with a woman and you chose to follow your heart and live as a couple. That’s a wonderful thing.
    But even in your case, did you CHOOSE who you fell in love with? I’ll bet no. The attraction happened, and then you chose to live a truthful life as a couple. Am I right?"

    No, I chose women first, even though I am attracted to both, and then I chose my partner.

    I think the naughtiness of sex is very alluring for men.
    And gay sex is–for lack of a better word–naughty.

  • 249. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I'm going to leave now, but thank you all for an extremely interesting conversation. I am on Facebook, so friend me if you want to get to know me. I am very politically active and love discussion of all kinds. My name is the same on Facebook. It is my real name.

  • 250. Ed  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I have not had the chance to follow the conversation on here closely- that is a loss for me!

    Just a couple quick comments: men and women report some differences in "choice" on sexual orientation- 67% of women report that they have no choice in to whom they are aroused, while 88% of men report no choice- there may be a difference in the degree of biological directedness of arousal across the genders. Probably a good lesson for all of us that we cannot assume that because we feel one thing, that is the truth and is felt by all others. One of my straight buddies told me that gay men just needed to go with the flow and they would be attracted to women. That was as absurd as if I told him he just needed to go with the flow and he would be attracted to men. We are just wired differently biologically- and that is ok.

    Had to say this before I could post a follow-up on a story of a few months ago- in the next post.

  • 251. Ed  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Here is a posting from Kate Kendall on another list:

    Breaking News: Victory! Sonoma County Settles with Clay Greene for Over $600,000
    07.23.10

    Just days before trial was set to begin in our lawsuit on behalf of Clay Greene, Sonoma County officials have agreed to settle out of court with the elderly man, who County officials separated from his partner, Harold Scull, after Harold was injured in a fall outside of their home.

    Their tragic story captured hearts and headlines across the country, and generated an outpouring of support unlike anything we have seen before, along with intense, justifiable outrage that an elderly gay couple could experience such cruel mistreatment and abuse.

    Sonoma County has agreed to pay Clay and Harold's estate $600,000, and defendant Agua Caliente Villa has agreed to pay $53,000. These payments are partial vindication for the nightmare Clay and Harold endured at the hands of county workers, whom disregarded their 20-year relationship and failed to respect legal documents in which
    Clay and Harold named each other as agents for medical and financial decisions.

    Ignoring Greene entirely, the County petitioned the Court for conservatorship of Scull's estate, separated the couple by putting them in separate nursing care facilities, and terminated Harold and Clay's lease on the home they shared. Without authority, the County took everything the couple owned and auctioned it off. And horrifyingly, without following the strict legal requirements for placing someone in a nursing facility against their will, the County then forced Clay into a facility where he did not want or need to be, where he was physically restrained from leaving, and where he was completely isolated. In Clay's own words from a story in The New York Times: "I was trash" to them, he said. "I'm going to end up in the dumpster."

    In addition to paying out a substantial sum, as a result of Clay and Harold's lawsuit, the County has changed or modified a number of important policies in its Office of Public Guardian, including requiring employees to follow protocols before seizing private
    property, preventing employees from relocating elders or others against their will, and prohibiting employees from backdating information in their guardianship databases.

    No amount of money can ever ease the trauma, pain, humiliation, and fear Clay suffered in the months after Harold's fall. And nothing can ever make it possible for Clay to be at Harold's side when he died three months after they were separated.

    We are awed by Clay's courage in standing up for himself and other vulnerable LGBT elders. We are grateful to Clay's court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis, and elder abuse specialists Stephen O'Neill and Maggie Flynn of Tarkington, O'Neill, Barack & Chong, because their hard work and dedication led to this terrific result. We trust that this experience will go a very long way in ensuring that LGBT elders in Sonoma County are not similarly mistreated in the future. But this victory is tempered by the harsh,
    sad facts of this case. Nothing can salve the heartache of being cruelly deprived of the opportunity to be with a dying partner.

    Nothing can make up for the unbearable reality that Harold died alone, without Clay by his side, after spending the final months of his life making a photo album for Clay of their life together.

    This story truly haunts me, and underscores the need for everyone to be more educated about elder abuse within the LGBT community, and what each one of us can do to prevent a sequel to this tragedy. At NCLR, we are working harder than ever, expanding outreach for our elder law public education program. And your support can help us continue working to enforce laws to protect the aging LGBT population.

    This case highlights the urgency needed for true and full LGBT equality across the country, rather than a patchwork of hit and miss state rights or protections. This settlement cannot undo what Clay and Harold endured, but it ensures that what happened to them will never happen in Sonoma County again. Someday, I hope I will be able to say the same for the rest of the country.

    Warmly,
    Kate Kendell
    Executive Director, NCLR

  • 252. Greg in Oz  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

    @ Leslie,
    Sorry, for the delay in any response – the time difference doesn't help!
    Just read your 2 responses to me.
    No Leslie, I don't hate myself at all – quite the contrary. My point wasn't that I hate my life – I've lived my life and enjoy it immensely as an out and proud Gay man from the moment I realized my sexuality. It was never a 'fear' thing for me.
    My simple point was that for me, it wasn't a choice. I am from a very large extended family, that has a number of nieces and nephews (17 in fact) that I love dearly.
    My only 'regret' – if you can even call it that – is that, for my generation, the thought of having kids yourself wasn't on any horizon. Such a shame, cause I reckon I would've made a pretty cool Dad :-). But that hasn't soured my life experience by any means.
    Your second post to me has just confused me more….
    'Fear'? 'My Father'? 'Sexual abuse'? ….
    Where did all that come from? Dont know what your talking about there at all, and you seem to have made some pretty big assumptions about me in that post.
    I have to add though that the language that you use and the way you shape those arguments only re-enforce my thoughts that your a troll – I'm not trying to offend – as others have said here – you have the right to view your life as you see fit, if what you state is true. But like others here – the 'choice' argument (to me at any rate) does sound like it's coming from someone who is not Gay or Lesbian, but at the least Bi and at the worst, one of the Xtrians fundies. Your direction of thinking doesn't sound like it takes any of a lived Gay or Lesbian experience. Maybe I'm wrong and others may see your point of view – but simply put, I'm sorry, but I just dont get it.
    Either way, I dont think that you can make the blanket statements you are making, as again to me, they dont speak from or to the majority of opinion that I have heard (by far) from nearly all of my Gay peers.

  • 253. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I've never encountered the 'slut' label. But I've often experienced the cold shoulder within the gay community because of being bi. I'm either 'really straight and just experimenting with women', or I'm 'really a lesbian and just not willing to admit it.'

  • 254. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Straight Grandmother, I'm only answering the questions I have been asked. I'm leaving because I think the conversation on this thread is largely over. I have enjoyed your contributions considerably. Thank you for your support of the movement.

  • 255. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Wonderful news, Kate, thank you!

  • 256. A.  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

    ohh of course the conversation is over. *waves*

  • 257. A.  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:54 am

    this story is so sad…
    but yes hopefully, this is the start of change

    thanks for sharing!

  • 258. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Hi Leslie,

    Well, if nothing else, you're consistent in your ability to say things that make me go 'huh?"

    You did it again with this one:

    "I think the naughtiness of sex is very alluring for men.
    And gay sex is–for lack of a better word–naughty."

    Well, of course your'e free to think that, but I don't know how you could have arrived at that conclusion.

    For me, what is alluring is the idea of meeting a great guy with a beautiful smile and an engaging personality, and discovering that we are attracted to each other and genuinely interested in each other, and then dating and eventually falling in love with each other. And yes, having sex too. I don't find any of that to be 'naughty'. Not even the sex part.

    But that's OK, we're all working toward the same goals and we don't have to agree or even understand each other on some of these side issues. They don't really have anything to do with equal marriage rights.

  • 259. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Because if they don't hide their nasty bits, those scary scary gays and lesbians are gonna get them! BOO!

  • 260. Mark M  |  July 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Not Fat!! Fluffy :-)

  • 261. Mark M  |  July 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

    The only choice I made, and believe is true for most Gay men and women is the choice to accept who and what we are. The choice to be happy with ones self.

  • 262. Rhonda  |  July 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

    It always reminds me of Eddie Murphy in "Raw" (I think it was) where he does the 'schwing'when talking about gay, str8, and bi.

  • 263. StraightForEquality  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for mentioning this. I hadn't known about it before, but I just watched it on YouTube and found it very moving.

  • 264. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I think most of their members are LGBTA people who signed up for their stupid site just to get emails (i.e. updates) as to what NOM is doing.

  • 265. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Yeah, I smell a troll. I really hope she's gone because this didn't really add anything of merit.

  • 266. Ray in MA  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Leslie Basden is a sophiticated TROLL here (or menatlly unstable). Beware.

    She said she was leavig, but she's appeared to return very quickly. Don't trust her.

    "I’m leaving because I think the conversation on this thread is largely over." Is that you Haggie?

  • 267. Ray in MA  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I spotted her right away… look back at my posts.

  • 268. Ray in MA  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Leslie:

    And gay sex is–for lack of a better word–naughty.

    Give me a break!!! TROLL!

  • 269. Ray in MA  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:24 am

    MIght even be BB or Louie.

  • 270. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Not only that, but she told you to "grow up" after you made a very reasonable post.

    She's a rather typical troll.

  • 271. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Yes, there's the chance that this may have been trolling. I don't think so, but you never know. But no matter, lots of us posted some things that might be informative and enlightening to anyone reading here who might want some insight into the subject. Much like the way I feel about how to respond to NOM – don't get dragged into a fight with a troll, but instead, use the situation as an opportunity to provide real information about the issues to any members of the general public who may be watching or lurking. Someone might learn something.

  • 272. Ray in MA  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Yes, that was not a sophisticated reply.

    Hi Owen! You new in town?

  • 273. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Nah, I've been lurking semi-religiously for a while but posting very infrequently, mostly recently.

    Thanks for the welcome, though. :) Hope to see you in DC.

  • 274. Chris B  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I agree with the staff ID thing. Would be nice, for a wrap up slide show to indicate in the photos the staff people who were traveling and were at multiple events (unless these staff people are local volunteers from each city) to differentiate them from actual local people who showed up.

    Maybe, when the "glorious and victorious success of a tour to save marriage" (as the North Korean press might word it), someone can create nice slide show showing photos at each city with counts of how many showed up for each side.

  • 275. eDee  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

    @Straight Grandmother,
    Think of it this way. As a teenager I wasn't attracted to men or women. I was taught that girls married boys and I did.
    I consider myself straight, but I've never been attracted to men until I met my husband. I was never attracted to women either, I am attracted to "Personality".

    Now of course you didn't mean "anyone" in the sense of just any person on the street can turn you on, I know that. You meant you couldn't wrap your head around getting turned on by both genders. I can't get how people can be attracted to people who don't speak their language, it's a limitation of mine.
    But if we are not attracted to gender, but are attracted to personality than it's a little easier to understand – or at least I hope I have explained it well.

    Some of us are not attracted to a gender as much as we are the person. That just throws a whole new battle into the mix – don't it?!?!

  • 276. Chris B  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I suspect, based on her follow-up comments, that her use of the word "choice" was not something she used in a scientific way (not nature v. nurture) but rather in the casual sense of: "It's a person's own personal decision (choice) if they want to be gay and no one else should be able to tell them what they can and can't do."

    We who are so wrapped up in this debate are so used to hearing "choice" from the right meaning "it's not genetic" that we might forget that lay people aren't always aware of the subtleties of the word.

  • 277. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I still say 'Troll'

  • 278. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Me, too.

    OTOH, Straight Grandmother, if you don't want to see discussion of whether someone has or hasn't slept with people of one sex or another, best not to participate in discussions where people are talking about their sexual orientation.

  • 279. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    @Ray in MA…
    couldn't agree more.
    Is it just me, or were her arguments coming from a toally alien place to a lived GLBTI experience?
    Im happy to admit that maybe it's just my 'limited' perspective as a gya man, and that she has the right to live the way she chooses, but none of her commentary rang true to me – it did sound more like the sort of stuff that I would expect a fundie Xtain to spout.
    Maybe it's just me……..
    No disrespect meant, but I dont feel much respect was coming from her side either for others viewpoints (which again pinged of my 'Trolldar' rather than my 'Gaydar').
    Still, each to his / her own I say – which is all that I've ever asked of those opposed to SSM

  • 280. Bryan  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I agree, Kathleen. His "adopted kids aren't really the kids of their parents" thing is insulting, and demonstrates something important: it is becoming more and more difficult for them to insult gays and lesbians without also insulting other groups.

  • 281. Ray in MA  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Greg… bloggers can be easily fooled… they come in all shapes and sizes… and levels of intelligence (or lack of)

    This blog is unusual as to how few intrusions we've had here.. or at least I think so ?!?!

    How 'bout a blog "Recognizing a Troll when you Read One" !

  • 282. Chris B  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    "…politicians who will vote to protect the people’s right to marriage."

    I didn't know that getting married was going to be outlawed or illegal. That's what Maggie's words imply. And that what she is trying to subtly communicate: once gays are allowed to marry, straight marriages will no longer be 'special'. Protect your special right to marry.

  • 283. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    eDee said: " I can’t get how people can be attracted to people who don’t speak their language, it’s a limitation of mine."

    Hi eDee, I used to wonder about that too – until that week I spent in Budapest with Tibor the Hungarian lifeguard : ) It was perhaps the most romantic week of my life. All of our communication was either through a small translation dictionary or non-verbal. I hadn't thought about that in a long time. Thanks for reminding me! : ) But I digress…

  • 284. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    @Ray in MA…
    LOL
    Like that – a "Recognising Trolls" blog would be a good one . I think there's been more on here than we are aware of – but it is also nice to note that the way they have been dealt with has largely been fair and calm (a few exceptions to that – but not many, considering all that the GLBTI community has had to put up with from the 'other' side for soooo many decades now).
    I am consistently amazed at the good grace that has been shown on this blog by the contributors!!!!

  • 285. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    eDee said "Now of course you didn’t mean “anyone” in the sense of just any person on the street can turn you on, I know that. You meant you couldn’t wrap your head around getting turned on by both genders."

    Actually, eDee, judging by SG's follow-up of "Uh no not every man tuns me on. Ok I see what you mean." it appears that was what she thought. But I think she's been enlightened.

  • 286. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I meant that she appeared to think that it meant literally virtually everyone.

  • 287. Chris B  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Yup. Agree with those points.

    I also don't think most 'traditional marriage' supporters really view marriage as being threatened right now. Their real motivation is anti-gay. (The Venn diagram for anti-gay, anti-gay-marriage is two almost completely overlapping circles.) And as you point out, the decision has already been made in most states: gay marriage is illegal, and there are no gay-marriage issues on the ballot (like Prop-8).

  • 288. Marlene  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    It's kinda hard for the Texas State School Board to approve those revisionist textbooks when they can't afford to *buy* them!!

  • 289. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    The way she debates/argues is an implementation of the classic style of projection employed by the religious fundie/NOM crowd.

    She kept saying, "please respect my viewpoints – they're just my views! stop attacking me!", yet people were respectful to her, and *she* was the one who kept getting on her high horse, accusing everyone else of being narrow-minded.

    It's textbook NOM-style argumentation. She doesn't fool me for a second.

  • 290. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Agreed. Also, the lack of willingness to acknowledge the validity of someone else's world view, while not the exclusive domain of the religious right, seems to be one of its hallmarks.

  • 291. Rhonda  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    speaking as a lesbian, she rang false to me. I grew up So. Baptist and tried VERY hard not to be gay,but just because I slept with guys to prove my straightness doesn't mean I was sexually or emotionally aroused by them. When I was with a woman, it was an OMG THIS is what is right.

  • 292. Mark M  |  July 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Probably just a minion……
    Creepy odd none the less

  • 293. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    @ Greg in Oz, I think the second post from Leslie is directed at me. I don't think she noticed the name at the top of my post which referred to the abuse I endured growing up.
    Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)

  • 294. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    @ Straight Grandmother–You mean Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.

  • 295. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    @ Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan).
    Thanks Richard.
    Yes, I got that AFTER I put up my post.
    Strange arguments coming from her quarter though. Guess it takes all kinds (but my troll alert sensors are still tingling strongly)

  • 296. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Straight Grandmother, when you get a chance on FB, could you PM me? I am using my real name here, so just look for me. I sent you a friend request with a question in the message, at least I hope that was you.

  • 297. PamC  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    +1000

  • 298. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    @ Straight Grandmother. From what I have read so far of these posts, I don't think anyone here got so upset that they would tell you to leave, but I think that with your wording and explanation that everyone wanted to help you understand, since, at least to me, it was obvious that you were looking for information. And with that said, I will share my experiences with various friends who are bisexual. Sometimes we would actually help each other out with prospective dates, and it was always very informative for all involved. What I mean by this is that sometimes, I would be asked to sit down and talk with someone to see if I thought this was someone my friends wanted to go out with, or if this was someone for them to avoid, and they would do the same for me. It actually helped all of us avoid a lot of the heartache and heartbreak we would otherwise have endured. No, none of them were ever turned on by every single person they saw. Most of the time, it was just that certain something about someone that would awaken a certain desire–and it was usually personality more so than looks. But as a gay man, I enjoy having bisexual friends as well as straight, gay and lesbian friends. I find that it really gives me even more perspective on myself, and it has definitely helped me feel better about not trying to force myself into doing or not doing things simply because those things are the stereotypical things gay men do. So, please, Straight Grandmother, continue to ask when you don't know. I am glad you do. You see, when you ask, that gives me a chance to go back and review, and it also helps me to learn more about myself. Thank you.

  • 299. VRAlbany  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Yes, great insight. Thank you Kathleen.

  • 300. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @ Bryan. thank you. As an adoptee, I felt attacked by that comment of Louis', and I am certain that my adoptive mother, if she were still alive, would be waiting on him in Charleston, WV to give him a piece of her mind about that one. I would just love to see him tell her that I wasn't her son simply because she did not give birth to me. That would not have gon over well with her at all!

  • 301. Tim in Sonoma  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I'm sorry I do not feel it's time to celebrate!

    $600,000 does not make what happened go away!

    I hope that if this was to happen to me, my spouse or dependants would not just except a check and go happily on their way!
    The relationship and life these two men shared together is worth so much more than that!
    So what are we so happy about?

  • 302. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Note – not related to this thread – OT for Richard.
    Hey Richard – got your message through an email sent from FB – cant reply through there though – my workplace has blocked access to FB. Hope you get this here
    Strange attitudes – that's all I can say re that particular person.

  • 303. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Yes, I agree with you there. You can PM me later when you get a chance to sit down and relax. I understand about theings that are NAAW (Not Accessible at Work). Hey, I just created a new acronym, didn't I?

  • 304. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I think you feel threatened by what I have said. You are not taking on my arguments. I have not been disrespectful to any of you. My arguments are cogent. You are attacking me by calling me names.

    What else do you want me to say? I leave because the conversation has dried up, and you call me names and say "good riddance!" Then you predict I'll be back, and you'll call me more names for it.

    Trying to stay in the argument upsets you. Leaving the argument provides, according to you, evidence of the worthlessness of the argument.

    My view is not widely accepted, but it's reasonable. We are having a discussion, and you are attacking me because I'm somehow threatening you by saying that for some of us, choice is part of what makes us who we are. It may or may not be a part of what makes you who you are. You can choose to believe what you wish. Isn't that reasonable? I'm somehow attacking your identity by explaining my beliefs, which you and others have questioned me about over and over on this thread, making your own assumptions along the way?

  • 305. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Dang it! I believe you did!!!!!!
    NAAW!!!
    I'll use that if you dont mind!
    LOL
    Chat later (got at least 4 hours before I'll be back home though!).
    Lots o' love
    GregII

  • 306. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Shouldn't we be the accepting people?

  • 307. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Do any of you watch Big Love? Do you find yourself wondering why we reject group marriages because they have been done badly in the past by wildly separatist people?

    I have an open mind, yes. Is that bad?

  • 308. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Feel free to use it. Hey, I actually introduced some folks to the term rainbowneck, which is one of the ways I shorthand a description of myself. And the definition of a rainbowneck is a member of the roainbow Tribe who can read five pages of one of Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck if…" books and identify with four of them.

  • 309. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Greg in Oz, my comments were for Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan). Sorry, I got names mixed up.

  • 310. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Leslie,
    You began by proclaiming that it was a choice, at least for you, and then went on to state that we should get over it as we can choose which way we go.
    Others here, like myself simply pointed out that for us it wasn't a choice at all – it is the way we are made.
    Im happy to accept that this is the way it is for you – but you dont seem happy for us to state that it is NOT that way for us.
    Who is being intolerant? classical troll interpretations if you ask me.
    And then this!
    Baiting another Xtian freak-out.
    Oh no! if we allow SSM, next thing – poligamy!!!!!
    Please – state who you really are and then perhaps we can have a decent and honest discussion,
    this smacks of classic right wing trolling!
    (All said in love though :-0)
    Greg in Oz

  • 311. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Sooo… what's the next stop on the NOM tour? And what does our side have planned for the event?

  • 312. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Ray wrote:
    "You silly girl Leslie! Is it that a girl can just lay back and let in a man or woman? Well if that’s the case, on the opposite side of the specturm, a guy has do all the work to make it go in.

    I did try a few times to make it go in, and it wouldn’t. Hence, I had NO CHOICE other than to put it where it would go in… there you have it! I HAD NO CHOICE (but I’ve had a lot of fun!)"

    Owen, you think this is a reasonable argument? You weren't able to achieve an erection with a woman, so all gay men are genetically determined?

  • 313. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    The side topic of choice versus not-a-choice was OK even if it was trolling because it allowed folks here to post some informative comments. But the subsequent remarks are just random inflammatory baiting and don't even have anything to do with gay issues, let alone equal marriage rights. That's not even good trolling.

  • 314. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I have already told you who I am. You have my full name. Look me up on Facebook. See who my friends are. I accept that you have a belief system that is different from mine, that your experience was different from mine, that your biology may differ from mine, including genetic predispositions, and that you present yourself in a way that gives you comfort. Fine. Feel better now?

  • 315. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Some of us do choose. That is all I have said. Friend me on Facebook to check my credentials.

  • 316. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Big Love is written by gay men who are aware of the parallels.

  • 317. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Another essential behavior of a troll. Proclaim that you're leaving…for attention.

    Then come back…for even more attention.

  • 318. Owen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Indianapolis tomorrow, right?

  • 319. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Yes, Indianapolis. I've seen two different events mentioned. It's possible they have plans to merge them. Here's a facebook page for one of them: http://tinyurl.com/2dofvtw

  • 320. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    …. I got curious and looked it up. So it looks like St. Paul Minnesota is the next stop, this Wednesday 7/28, followed by St. Cloud on Thursday 7/29.

    Whazzup Minnesota?? How ya gonna represent?

  • 321. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Original schedule was Indianapolis Monday and Madison, WI Tuesday, then St. Paul Wednesday, but now they're listing the next stop as Madison. Have they canceled the Indianapolis stop? http://www.marriagetour2010.com/tour/

    Or is this just more of their campaign of disinformation?

  • 322. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    oops, our posts crossed. But it's odd – I was checking NOM's site and I saw no mention of Indianapolis tomorrow – their schedule started with St. Paul on the 28th. Or did I miss it?

  • 323. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    To the general population, gay sex is naughty, isn't it? And doesn't that help make it more appealing somehow?

  • 324. Ronnie  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    click on "past tour stops"…Indianapolis is at the bottom….<3…Ronnie

  • 325. Greg in OZ  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Leslie,
    It's not a matter of 'feeling better' :-). I've been fine all along this little thread of discussion. It's been interesting, at least.
    Im sorry if I have got the wrong handle on you, but some of the statements that I have seen you post could easily have come straight from the mouths of Monster Maggie or the 'Bless-ed' Brian. And that last thread re Big Love was just too much.
    I cannot access Facebook, as I am at work, where it is blocked. I have been informed by others though that you have a profile there. I will check it out when i can at home tonight.
    It's just that the topics you raise are the very same as NOMs et al.Interesting – no?
    And you appear at times to have the NOM stance as well (I'm thinking of the 'choice' bit here, and your seeming lack of apparent willingness to accept from others that this is not their lived experience).
    And then, you swing away from one 'discussion' that you are not going too well at, to another topic that's totally off the thread, but is meant to start a new round of flaming, is a very old tactic – and as someone else notes – very troll-like.
    I can only surmise that you are either very new to the debate here – which is fine and welcome (but please – get with the program – or as NOM would put it, haven't you read the 'Gay Agenda??!!??'LOL) or you are here for other reasons.
    If you are the former, then please accept my apologies; you are obviously a Bi person who wants to be identified as being Gay (nothing wrong with that at all – but note that while it was NOT your choice to be Bi, it IS your choice to identify as Gay – world of difference between the two, no?).
    I must admit, I am still leaning towards the latter – sorry if that offends, but your continuing statements and behaviours alone are what have led me to that conclusion.
    Still, as we are always saying here, anyone is welcome to comment………….

  • 326. Ronnie  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    No…. : / …..Ronnie

  • 327. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Wow. Maybe for you; I'm willing to accept whatever you say your motives are with respect to how you choose your sex partners. But it has nothing to do with who I find attractive.

  • 328. Anonygrl  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Straight Grandmother,

    Also bi here… and no, not everyone turns me on. I would not have any sort of attraction to either Maggie or Brian if you PAID me.

    I have found myself attracted to both men and women, but I don't even really look at it that way. It happens that I find different PEOPLE attractive and whatever their sex happens to be is almost irrelevant. I've felt that sexual rush of hormones zipping around both with women and men, as well as the desire and impulse to form deeper relationships with both.

    But NOT with everybody. I am sometimes too picky for my own good. :)

    And being bi is something that was not a choice. The first time I looked at a girl (from our church, actually, and just a few years older than I was in high school) and thought "I really want to kiss her" it was a bit startling to me. I think I was a bit of a late bloomer, as I had really only had that thought about two others before her, both male, and to realize that women could also inspire those feelings was an interesting discovery.

    My parents were wonderful, open minded people who had taught their children simply that some people are gay. While the topic made Mom uncomfortable, she gamely plowed through it and made sure that we understood there was nothing at all wrong with it, and that she knew she was in the wrong being uncomfortable. My dad, a the minister of the church, was always cool about it, and in later life broke with the denomination over this very issue. So I knew it was ok, but it was still an odd thing to discover.

    But once I did, once I had found someone female who made me tingle, I sort of realized I had always felt that way. I don't know if that makes sense, but what I mean is that I had always been as interested in girls as boys, I had always had friendships with both, even when other kids were going through stages of only having friends of one sex or the other. And the first time I did kiss a girl (not that one, I never got up the courage to tell her) it was the same as kissing a boy, and totally different at the same time, but just as magical and moving and tingly.

    I've had relationships with both men and women. Couldn't tell you which was better, couldn't tell you which I preferred, either way is good. I am not in a relationship right now, but I could not even tell you that I am LOOKING at one sex or the other… I am looking at people, and seeing what there is to see.

  • 329. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Their schedule starts with Madison, WI on Tuesday. But as Ronnie discovered, Indianapolis is listed as a "past stop."

  • 330. Kathleen  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Got it. Thanks.

  • 331. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Yup. I guess because it's now after midnight on the east coast, therefore already Monday? In any case, yes, Monday is Indianapolis.

    Anybody around here got the scoop on what we're planning for Monday?

  • 332. Anonygrl  |  July 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    No Leslie. I don't find sex with a woman appealing because it is naughty. I find it appealing if the woman is appealing.

    You are talking about people who experiment, which is ok as far as it goes, I guess… we are talking about people who are genuinely attracted to someone sexually, which is a whole different level.

  • 333. Dpeck  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Adding another 'no' to the list. Come on, Leslie, in the post directly above yours I gave a direct answer and told you exactly what it feels like for me to be attracted to a guy. And instead of accepting my response you just slightly rephrase your original remark about 'naughty gay sex'. Clearly trolling. Do you have anything to contribute to the topic of equal marriage rights for same sex couples?

  • 334. Anonygrl  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    The biggest problem with group marriages is that they have NOT been equal.

    In the case of Big Love, and other similar situations, the marriage has been one man and several women. The women have less rights, cannot have multiple husbands, in some cases cannot choose who they marry but are basically bartered off as children, etc.

    On the other hand, I know a woman who has two husbands (actually none of them are legally married, but they call each other husband, wife and husband). All three live together very happily. So no, I see nothing wrong with THAT. Nor would I if the situation were reversed, but all partners had the same rights.

    I do see a great deal wrong with the set up in Big Love.

  • 335. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I agree that for the most part, they have been done badly. Marriage to more than one person is not for me, but it may be right for someone else.

    The people in that one family on the show choose to live that way and like it. It works for them. I may not be able to do it, and I don't want to try. My values are not theirs, and that's okay.

    I do know people who live in a multi-person relationship (two men and one woman) and like it just fine.

  • 336. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Maybe we know the same three people, Anonygrl. Probably not, but maybe. I think it's a movement that will become more vocal over time.

  • 337. Leslie Basden  |  July 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I'm getting attacked from all sides, and I'm trying to defend my position, which is want you seem to want me to do.

  • 338. Greg in Oz  |  July 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Leslie,
    There's probably a good reason for you feeling attacked.
    But it doesn't help your arguments with comments like "grow up' (as you did with Ray – we tend to get irritated here by disrespect such as that; mostly, people here try to be polite) or telling me that I must be living in fear because I disagree with you (as you did at the start; and honey, let me tell you, that's not something that us militant queens that fought hard for our rights back in the '70s and '80s will take lying down!).
    And the issue you've now gone to (polygamy) is one that the right wing have been screaming about for ages as being next after SSM is approved.
    All sounds a lot like baiting to me. I'm not saying you are baiting, but simply observing the flow of discussion, as others have also commented on.
    Perhaps it may be a reflection on your own initial behaviour here that has caused you to feel the way you do?
    And I dont need to see you 'defend your position'. Happy to agree to disagree – and am also happy allowing you to believe what you will.

  • 339. Sagesse  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    LGBT history.

    It’s Gonna Happen, Kids: Progress in the Face of Prop 8
    http://fourstory.org/features/story/its-gonna-hap

  • 340. Michael  |  July 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    You guys at NOM (Hate) Tour Tracker are doing a fantastic job! Thanks for keeping us all updated.

  • 341. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 26, 2010 at 12:42 am

    They are still infecting Indianapolis. It just got moved to "Past tour stops." Probably an automatic feature of their site that occurs when midnight arrives in the eastern time zone.

  • 342. Sagesse  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

    On the subject of friend Louis… NOM is so screwed up

    Phony disclaimer won't help National Organization for Marriage
    http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.co

  • 343. Marlene  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I echo the welcome, eDee! We need all the allies we can get!

    It's why I do guest lectures for the local colleges and universities: to put a *human* face to the condition, and to impress on the students that I'm just as equal as they are and to challenge and question all those myths and lies the religious reicht spews.

    Bigots are cowards and bullies. They don't like it when people stand up to them, and especially when we challenge their precious beliefs and their delusion that they and ONLY they are the "real" arbiters of religion.

  • 344. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Leslie, it may well be that you consider yourself to have "chosen" lesbianism because you recognized your orientation rather later in life. This is the case with several lesbians of my acquaintance. However, that does not mean that you were not a lesbian already — and all of said lesbians of my acquaintance recognize that, too.

    Their experience was largely "Why do I not get the spine-tingling thing that all of my gal-pals get when they kiss their boyfriends? Why do I feel so indifferent," etc., in a quest to understand their own sexuality.

    As for me (a straight ally), I know I didn't choose my orientation. There was no question of whether Paul McCartney or Petula Clarke was cuter; it was all about Paul.

    So, while your experience is indeed your own, and (if my understanding of your description is accurate) coincides with the experience of some of my lesbian friends, it is far from universal.

    The language that you chose is frequently used by those who would deny marriage equality. They believe that people "choose" to be gay or lesbian, so they can just jolly well "choose" to be straight if they want to get married. It simply does not work that way unless one is far closer to the middle of the Kinsey scale than most people happen to be.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 345. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Heh. Back in the days of Usenet, we called that the "pail and shovel" post (as in, "I'm taking my pail and shovel and leaving the sandbox"). It was inevitably viewed as someone begging to be asked to remain.

    If people really want to leave a forum, they just do it — sans fanfare.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 346. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:54 am

    My sex life with my huband is NOT naughty!
    You are totally clueless!
    You are NOT who and what you appear to be or you would not be making stupid ass statements like that.
    Sex between myself and my husband is a loving expression of how we feel towards one another…its tender, loving, caring, passionate….not NOT NAUGHTY!!

  • 347. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

    And Fiona, I agree. It WAS all about Paul McCartney. IMHGO, he is still a fine looking man.

  • 348. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I feel no threat from you….what I do feel is the depth of your lies and deception. You are NOT who and what you claim to be lady…if you are even that.

  • 349. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Actually, Leslie, I think that the general public doesn't think too much about what people get up to behind closed doors.

    The prurient folks who do think about what people get up to behind closed doors tend to think that *all* sex is "naughty." That's because they are repressed, hyper-religious prudes who have been *taught* that all sex is naughty, dirty and disgusting — and they should therefore save it for the person they love so much that they want to be with them forever.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 350. David Kimble  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Hello trackers, this is one of my favorite songs from Simon & Garfunkel! The words are beautiful and contain many deep meanings (a signature of Simon & Garfunkel. BTW, I am feeling better, but still have the pneumonia thing in my lungs. <3 David
    [youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYKJuDxYr3I&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0]

  • 351. Sarah  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:08 am

    I have been trying to stay out of this, but have a couple thoughts and I would like your input, Leslie.

    1. So, if it is a choice for you, do you actually think you are straight, but choose to live as a lesbian? That is what much of this conversation has me conclude. It is as if "straight" is the default setting, and your relationship with your female partner is an anomaly or something. (Please know that I find it wonderful that you have been together for so long and are happily married; I do not want to seem dismissive of that.) I personally do not believe "straight" is the default setting.

    2. One reason I do not think sexual orientation is a choice is that, well, I do not know straight people who could even fathom having a relationship with somebody of the same sex. There is something at the core of who I am as a person that makes it not only possible, but enjoyable.

  • 352. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Just an FYI: Louis is now claiming that I have never been banned from posting on his blog. I was posting using my LiveJournal ID, and this is the message I have been getting for five days now (including 2 minutes ago):

    Error
    The site you just came from seems to want to verify an identity that you, as [info]fiona64, cannot provide.

    This is what happens when you are banned/blocked from posting on a WordPress blog.

    So, Louis (Hi, Louis!), care to address that particular lie?

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 353. Steve  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:21 am

    "Caprica" has a great portrayal of a polygamous family where everyone is equal. It's sci-fi, so they can get away with it.

  • 354. Phillip R  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I'm a bit late but the only choice I had when it came to sexuality was whether to make myself miserable by faking the straight life or accepting myself for who I am and identifying as gay.

    Whether I was gay or not was never a choice….how I dealt with it and society was.

  • 355. anonygrl  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:38 am

    ACK. That site is blocked here at work. Could we have a quick summary?

  • 356. Kathleen  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Nice to hear form you David. Hope you feel better soon.

  • 357. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:47 am

    It's Louis pretending he's not part of NOM.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 358. Marlene  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Here you go, SG. It's fairly short.

    Source: The Lima News (Lima, OH)
    Date: July 24, 2010
    Author: Bart Mills

    Dueling gay marriage rallies pull sparse crowds

    LIMA — The battle over gay marriage came to town Saturday, and if the afternoon turnout was any indication, it’s being fought by tiny armies.

    Advocates on both sides of the gay marriage debate met in separate events Saturday afternoon. The anti-gay marriage National Organization for Marriage held a rally in the parking lot of the former Dave Evans grocery on Shawnee Road while the pro-gay marriage Equality Ohio held a picnic in a Faurot Park shelter house.

    Both events pulled in small crowd — about 20 people for the NOM rally, a dozen for Equality Ohio — a fact that could be blamed on the 95 degree heat, though NOM Chairwoman Maggie Galla-gher gave equal credit to the fact that many Ohio residents believe the issue was decided with a state constitution amendment banning gay marriage.

    “I think people in Ohio mistakenly think the problem is taken care of. We don’t believe that’s the case and that’s why we’re here,” Gallagher said.

    The NOM rally included a selection of speakers from the organization as well as Jamie Gruber from the similarly anti-gay-marriage Ruth Institute and a representative from Congressman Jim Jordan’s office, all with a similar message, that the law should be written that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman.

    Gallagher said her group has a two-edged battle; to energize what she called a silent major-ity and avoid being painted as bigots in the process.

    “I think marriage matters and if we let government redefine marriage it’s the end of the idea that children need a mother and a father. We want to be able to say those things in a public forum without being painted as bigoted and hateful,” Gallagher said.

    But to Sue Doerfer, director of Equality Ohio, the traditional family Gallagher is trying to protect is already a thing of the past.

    “The truth is that most children do not grow up in traditional families any more. In fact, less than half of all children grow up in a home with both a mother and father,” Doerfer said. “Yes, research shows that ideally a child grows up with two parents. But there is no evidence that those two parents must be male and female.”

    Like Gallagher, Doerfer said her group is pro-marriage. They just want to expand the definition to include more people.

    “We’re interested in strengthening the idea of family, not weakening it. We’re not trying to take away rights from anybody or interfere with anybody’s family. We ask only for the same respect,” Doerfer said.

  • 359. Rhonda  |  July 26, 2010 at 2:51 am

    A statement of clarity
    I would like to take this opportunity to state that the opinions and statements made in this blog reflect only the opinions of myself, personally, not the National Organization for Marriage.

    I am not an employee of the National Organization for Marriage. I am a third party who is directly involved as a partner with the Summer for Marriage.

    Therefore, positions I take and statements I make do not reflect the positions or opinions of any other person, entity or the National Organization for Marriage as a whole.

    This statement of clarity has been added due to the heavy attention our opponents give to this blog and the great lack of understanding of who or what I represent. Let this stand as a clarification to all.

  • 360. Rhonda  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:08 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50933783@N07/4830751
    todays rally

  • 361. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:16 am

    I count 12, plus Maggie.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 362. Alan E.  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Hehe she has a sign that says "DON'T MESS WITH MARRIAGE" as if "marriage" has never ever changed…ever.

  • 363. Sagesse  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:17 am

    You will want to read the whole thing when you get home, but Louis is distancing himself from NOM… read, NOM is telling him to distance himself. It's like there's a wardrobe of hate and NOM is trying things on to see if they like the look.

  • 364. anonygrl  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Interesting… on his facebook page he is pictured wearing a whole NOM outfit, shirt and hat. THAT is a good way to prove you are not part of a group. LOL

  • 365. Sarah  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for sharing that!

  • 366. anonygrl  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:27 am

    From a tweet on the NOM site…

    Damon Owens, a NOM speaker in Indy: "None of us has the power or the right to define something none of us created."

    OK. So stop trying to define it as one man/one woman, Damon. Apparently, since you did not create marriage, you don't have that right.

  • 367. Rhonda  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:27 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50933783@N07/4831388
    todays protesters… gNOMe out numbered again

  • 368. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Leslie wrote; 'I’m going to leave now,….'
    Promise???
    You've said that you were leaving a couple times now and yet you keep coming back….could you please be a person of their word and actually leave now?

  • 369. David Kimble  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Kathleen, please send me an e-mail – so sorry, I lost your e-mail address somehow! I dunno, maybe it ran away? (the only this is it hurts to laugh.) <3 David

  • 370. Kathleen  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:33 am

    A setback in NJ: The NJ State Supreme Court has declined (vote: 3-3) to take up the marriage equality case directly, requiring plaintiffs to file a new case in the lower court: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/07/nj_supre

  • 371. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:33 am

    I thought you said you were leaving????

  • 372. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Feel better soon!!
    Thanks for posting one of my favorite S&G songs!!

  • 373. anonygrl  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:42 am

    I suppose the good news here, such as it is, is that things at NOM are so bad that they are starting to look to chewing off their own legs to get out of the bear trap?

    This is classically what happens when this sort of group starts to collapse under its own weight, instead of looking for ways to improve things, they start looking at who they can blame, even if the blame lands internally.

  • 374. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Caprica's a great show. I did see that. Unfortunately, in the show polygamy is practiced by those who use terrorism to effect change.The religion they are pushing, however, the one primary religion in the show Battlestar Gallactica, but by the time of that show it is a peaceful one. Not an exact rendering of Islam, but you see the parallel.

    The new religion is a peaceful one that has been overtaken by Cylons whose "race" (they are built by machines and can be reincarnated, although completely indistinguishable from people) is in jeopardy, which it is because the humans have assumed they don't have similar characteristics and are hell bent on the annihilation of humans.

    Politics and religion are conflated for maximum impact and clear parallels.

    Yes, I studied literature in college (and social psychology). And I'm unconventional and a tad rebellious. I like naughtiness and enjoy challenging my own beliefs. I believe everything I've said here. I think I'm right, but I might not be. We may never know, but I think the possibility is there and will always be there until the research catches up.

    I like being shaken up and learning new perspectives. Other people find that unsettling, but it is how I grow intellectually and have learned to be more empathetic to all. I really do think the "I can't help myself" line of argument is bad for individuals because it prevents complete acceptance.

    Having said that, though, I think people will come to accept us over time by virtue of the fact that we are simply people doing what works well for us and harm no one in the process.

  • 375. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Are you saying men aren't drawn to naughtiness in sex? Really? There are many different kinds of naughtiness, you know.

  • 376. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I think people can be drawn to it because it's naughty. Men–particularly young ones–are drawn to all kinds of sexual behavior because it's a bit naughty. Do you really deny that? Seriously?

  • 377. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:01 am

    We may have little choice in the people to whom we are attracted in our youth. I suspect we are fairly indiscriminate in terms of arousal as very young children and that good and bad experiences shape arousal over time and those experiences guide our choices.

    There are a few great books available on this subject:
    Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People by Joan Roughgarden (link to Barnes & Noble page here (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Evolutions-Rainbow/Joan-Roughgarden/e/9780520260122/?itm=1&USRI=evolution%27s+rainbow+diversity+gender+and+sexuality) and Sexual fluidity : understanding women's love and desire by Lisa M Diamond (http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?store=BOOK&WRD=sexual+fluidity+understanding+women%27s+love+and+desire). The second of these is specific to women but the first is not.

  • 378. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:04 am

    I got attacked for leaving. I'm trying to answer questions and discuss issues.

  • 379. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I saw that, Kathleen. I should be able to enter into a legal contract with whomever I want, provided that person is an adult of (relatively) sound mind who enters into it willingly. That should be the argument. That is the argument that is winning right now.

  • 380. James Sweet  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:08 am

    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.”

    Yeah, really. Well the extent to which sexuality is a choice is an interesting scientific question (and, it turns out, an interesting legal question due to the idiosyncrasies of Supreme Court precedent), in terms of practical public policy concerns, who cares? Even if every single person could easily change their sexual orientation at the drop of a hat (a ridiculous proposition, of course), why would that change anything?

    My Bible says that marriage is between one Coke drinker and one Pepsi drinker. And I think a constitutional amendment should be passed enforcing that! If people don't like it, hey, beverage preference is a choice! So you see, establishing my crazy religious beliefs as the law of the land is not a violation of the Establishment clause anyhow, because people can just choose to conform to my crazy religious beliefs! Right?

    Oh wait, that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Just like all arguments against same-sex marriage.

  • 381. Alan E.  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:09 am

    My follow-up question for you is this: do the animals in the almost 500 species that have shown homosexual tendencies and actions have a choice?

  • 382. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:16 am

    I think I answered this elsewhere, but here it is again. I have never been in a relationship with a man, depending of course on how you define "relationship"; sexual contact is a kind of relationship, isn't it?

    I'm still attracted to men from time to time but I am happy with my choices. I'm attracted to other women from time to time too. My experiences with men have not been so bad that it killed that automatic arousal button. It used to worry me, but not anymore.

  • 383. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:22 am

    As I have said elsewhere, I have always been attracted to people of both sexes. Still am. But I chose women, and then I chose my partner. My options were better.

  • 384. Sheryl  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:23 am

    So, went and read Louis' blog. Let me see if I have this straight, because they took their baby to the front of the NOM line, they are exploiting the baby for their own gain? And yet, NOM did not/is not exploiting their supporter and her children (the nursing mother "incident"). Just more hypocrisy on their part.

    Wonder how many NOM supporters have adopted children. Wonder how they feel about those kinds of statements about adoption.

  • 385. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:23 am

    I think people have a knee-jerk reaction to what I'm saying without really giving it any thought. That is what a zeitgeist is, isn't it?

  • 386. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:24 am

    I got attacked for leaving. Now I'm being attacked for answering the attacks.

  • 387. Ronnie  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Then you are Bisexual, but fell in Love with a Woman & chose to spend your life with her. There's nothing wrong with that. You're happy & that's all that matters. That's it …period…end of conversation….<3…Ronnie

  • 388. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:30 am

    1. I'm still attracted to people of both sexes. I think more people are attracted to people of both sexes (before any sexual experiences) than they remember or are willing to admit. I'm sure there is a lot of variety in there, rather like a bell curve.

    2. I think our experiences shape attraction over time and social expectations are a part of that. Perhaps an open mind makes it possible and enjoyable.

  • 389. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:31 am

    You have my name. Friend me on Facebook and decide for yourself.

  • 390. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:31 am

    What do you have to lose?

  • 391. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:32 am

    I never claimed to be a lady, but I am a woman.

  • 392. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:39 am

    If you actually LEFTY you wouldn't know your were 'attacked'….lurking is NOT leaving.

  • 393. Sarah  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:43 am

    So, essentially you think everybody is bisexual? And, that you just happen to fall toward the female-loving side of a continuum because it was the "better option"?

  • 394. Leslie Basden  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I get email updates. I have only come back to answer questions and accusations. I have now been asked to leave by one of you. I can't stop getting the emails, but I'll stop reading them now.

    Just think about what I've said. I don't think it's at all unsupported by research, and I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    Friend me if you wish to check my credentials as a lesbian and an activist. You have my name.

  • 395. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Leslie, I think you may be confusing "it's not a choice, It is my orientation" with "I can't help myself," and believe me, there is a huge difference between the two. I can't help myself is a cop-out, whereas ;"it's not a choice, it is my orientation" is a laymen's explanation of the scientific statement related to emotional, affectional, and other genetic hardwiring that is a natural part of being human. The fact that I was born gay is no different for me than the fact that I was born with fair skin (so I make the choice to limit my exposure to the sun so as to prevent sunburn and the increased risk of skin cancer), blue eyes, and hair that is a mixture of all the haircolors found in my family ancestry, even though the darker ones are the most prominent of them.
    For me, my orientation is as immutable as the fact that I am left-handed, and yes, I went through as much hell for being left-handed as I have for being gay.
    No, I cannot change the fact that I am gay, but that is a far cry from saying that I can't help myself. I can help myself, and that is why I have chosen a life-long partner, and also why I have chosen to be an outspoken advocate for marriage equality so that in the future, any of our grandchildren or great-grandchildren who are gay will be able to choose where they want to get married, instead of having to travel out of state to a jurisdiction that has marriage equality. I love my husband, I love the children I have been blessed with because of him (they are his from a previous relationship that was arranged by some of the rabbis where he received his rabbinical training and ordination), and I love our grandchildren. And heaven help anyone who tries to harm any of them.
    That being said, your experience that it was a choice for you is valid for you, but being gay was never a choice for me. How I choose to live my life as a gay man is where choice comes into it for me. and I choose to be with this man who has made my life even more fulfilling than it was before, and to help wherever is needed in this family I have been blessed with as a result.

  • 396. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:59 am

    James, I LOVE your analogy! That deserves a standing O!

  • 397. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 5:01 am

    What does that have to do with this discussion?
    Stop changing the subjest…or better yet LEAVE as you said you were going to several times now
    Troll

  • 398. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 5:02 am

    You are NOT a lesbian….by your own words you have stated you are bisexual.

  • 399. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 26, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Sheryl, as I stated earlier, that comment would not have gone over well with my adoptive mother at all. Especially since she lived both sides of the adoption story, not only as an adoptive mother, but as an adopted child. If Mom were still alive, she would right now be sharpening her fingernails in preparation for the infection that will hit Charleston, WV on August 11th. And her first target would be Louis.

  • 400. anonygrl  |  July 26, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Be careful about that… labels are tricky things. I avoid the label 'bisexual' for the most part because it is so misunderstood by people on both sides of the issue.

    If Leslie thinks of herself as lesbian, I am happy to let her say so. Sexuality is a spectrum, not a series of hard and fast locations, so she may be lesbian with some bisexal tendencies, or she may be bisexual with heavy leanings toward lesbian, but who cares? However she self-identifies, we should accept that.

    On the other hand, I do see the point that several have made about her comments appearing to be ratherin line with comments that have been heard repeatedly from trolls. I am concerned when she insists that if it is a choice for her, it must be for others and everyone should just admit that. I think that her foray into a discussion of polygamy smacks of the "if I can get them to admit THIS I will be able to jump all over it" tactics used by the anti-gay movement.

    She may not intend this to be the case. Even if she has been in a committed same sex relationship for many years, she may not have been active in any part of the advocacy side of things, and not have been exposed to those trolls, so not mean to sound trollish. Hard to say, however.

    I do hope she understands our concerns, that none of us are about to fall into those sorts of traps, and that we get tired of hearing the "it's a choice, so why don't you just choose to be straight" noises over and over, when for most everyone it is patently not true.

    And I hope that she understands that in the end, whatever she believes herself to be is ok. If she is a lesbian, if she is bisexual, it is her business and it is fine and we are ok with it. If she is a troll, I hope she learns something, from our honest discussions with her, and if she is not I hope she forgives the fact that sometimes trolling pisses us right off, and we come down hard on people who spout what appears very much to be the anti-gay party line of questioning.

  • 401. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 26, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I understand what you are saying anonygrl, but I am not the one labeling her…by her owns words she claimed attraction to both sexes…thus falling under the blanket label of 'bi'….I could care less what she chooses to self identify as. My problem is that she doesn't see her 'choice' was not based from a lesbian point of view but rather that of a bisexual.
    I'm rambling, but I think you'll get my meaning.
    She is confusing her choice to be that of a sexual orientation choice and not merely a choice of who to accept having fallen in love with…namely her wife.

  • 402. Fluffyskunk  |  July 26, 2010 at 7:32 am

    <blockquote cite="Leslie Basden">Sorry, I have to keep backing up to reply. So if I were to say I’m attracted to both sexes, would you classify me as bisexual even if the vast majority of my sexual experiences have been with a woman, than I have lived with a woman for 22 years, and that I am now married to one?

    Yes. I would.

    Bisexual does not mean "50/50 equally attracted to both sexes", and it most definitely does not mean "not monogamous". You mentioned the Kinsey scale yourself; a bisexual is anyone who doesn't fall in either of the extreme ends of the scale (exclusive attraction to the opposite or same sex). If you continue to experience attraction to men, if you had a "choice", then technically speaking, you are bisexual. It's not a four letter word, and it does not imply infidelity. It simply refers to attraction, not "conduct".

  • 403. Fluffyskunk  |  July 26, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Ray, I don't think Leslie is a troll, she's just confused about terminology, and happens to belong to the group of people who do have a choice (bisexuals).

    Leslie, please see my post above.

  • 404. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 7:40 am

    When it comes to the story of the Good Samaritan (as PamC cites), far too many of the self-appointed Elect believe that "who is your neighbor" applies solely to the person sitting next to them in church. They never stop to think about the guy lying in the ditch, but they are always thinking about the hero of the story.

    Unless and until they have been the ones down and out (in the ditch) and wishing for some compassion themselves, they will never, ever understand.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 405. fiona64  |  July 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Don't forget your pail and shovel. :-)

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 406. Fluffyskunk  |  July 26, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Calling oneself a lesbian because you're prejudiced against bisexuals or because the world around you is prejudiced against bisexuals is just another closet, an inverse one.

    Monogamy does not imply monosexuality, and bisexuality does not imply infidelity. Please see my post halfway up this thread, Leslie, if you're still here.

  • 407. PamC  |  July 26, 2010 at 8:15 am

    One of the best definitions of "neighbor" as it applies to this parable, and I can't remember where I heard it, is: "Your neighbor is the next person you encounter who is in need of something you are able to provide."

    In other words, put your money where your mouth is, and act compassionately towards the next person you encounter.

    I have a sign in my office that reads, "Do the next right thing." It kind of sums it up.

  • 408. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

    One that I like that is along the same lines is this one:
    Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

  • 409. Greg in OZ  |  July 26, 2010 at 10:28 am

    @anonygirl
    Well said – couldn't agree more.
    (I'm still leaning on the troll side tho ;-))

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