October 26, 2010
By Eden James
The Courage team has been brainstorming some questions for NOM President Brian Brown to answer while he’s on their “Judge Bus” tour in Iowa this week. Arisha will do her best to ask these questions if she gets the opportunity.
We’ve got 13 questions so far — maybe you can help us come up with seven more?
1) Brian, you live in New Jersey right? What makes you a more qualified advocate on Iowa’s courts than, say, someone who actually lives in Iowa?
2) If someone from Iowa spent $500,000 putting ads on in your hometown telling your neighbors your family was immoral and second class while driving around your neighborhood with a similar message on the side of a bus, would you be OK with that?
3) Why haven’t you apologized for your actions that led to a Courage Campaign videographer being threatened with arrest, undermining his first amendment rights in Annapolis, Maryland, this summer? The Annapolis Chief of Police apologized — why didn’t you?
4) Will you apologize for NOM’s California Tour organizers assaulting a member of our staff in Santa Ana, California, this summer?
5) Where do you get all your money? Seriously, according to campaign finance reports, 857 people gave you more than $400,000. That means someone wrote some big checks. Who were they?
6) In 2008, letters surfaced confirming that Andy Pugno, who you are spending over $100,000 to support in California’s AD 5, wrote letters blackmailing businesses who had given to pro-equality organizations, if they did not given an equally large gift to the “Yes on 8” campaign. Do you condone that type of conduct? Since your support of Pugno implies that you condone this conduct, isn’t it hypocritical for you not to release your donor lists?
7) Especially in this economy, what would you say to a homeless person who didn’t get clothed or fed by a charity group like the Knights of Columbus so they could give a multi-million gift for NOM, which was then used to pay your salary and take away the rights of loving, committed families?
8) Which number is higher—the amount you’re spending on advertising this election cycle, or the amount you are spending on lawyers trying to evade compliance with election and tax laws?
9) Jennifer Roback Morse, who works for NOM’s Ruth Institute, recently admitted to a Michigan paper that she “blurred the lines” of her tax-exempt status for her actions on behalf of candidates for elected office. Should she be punished for that, or is NOM above the law?
10) After Courage and HRC announced that the Ruth Institute had violated its tax-exempt status, which you denied, you removed a press release from your website announcing Jennifer Roback Morse’s support for Carly Fiorina. Isn’t that an admission of guilt on your part?
11) Do you believe gay people are second-class citizens? What about second-class parents? Or second-class soldiers?
12) Do you think that gay teens who are outed think of themselves as second class? Do you think that contributes to their higher propensity for suicide? What would you do about it?
13) Millions of Americans of all faith backgrounds support marriage equality. Why do NOM’s supporters call for killing gay people, or restricting their ability to be teachers, adopt children, or serve in the military, citing the Bible as their rationale?
What questions do you have for Brian Brown and NOM? Share them in the comments and we’ll try to get to a hard 20.