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Sock Puppets and Sugar Daddies: NOM and GOProud hand in hand

NOM Tour Tracker Right-wing

By Rick Jacobs

(Cross-posted at Huffington Post)

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is halfway through its 20-state “One Man, One Woman” tour at which approximately one man and one woman seem to show up for them at each stop.   But what NOM lacks in popular, grassroots support, it more than makes up for in apparently laundered money. Wednesday, NOM announced that it would spend untold sums to advertise in Spanish in California in support of Carly Fiorina, the failed CEO who wants to buy a Senate seat.

Not to be outdone, a few miles south of here in San Diego, a year-old right wing group called GOProud has carved out a niche for itself as the NOM of the gay right wing.  GOProud, a so-called 527 organization that exists to influence the outcome of federal elections, is the first “gay” organization to accept funds from Doug Manchester and his Hyatt Hotel in San Diego that has been under boycott for two years.  Mr. Manchester denies workers their rights and put $125,000 into the Prop. 8 campaign just as it qualified for the ballot.

What do these two organizations have in common?  Quite a lot, it turns out.

NOM is under investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for failure to disclose contributors to the 2008 campaign to take marriage away from Americans.  It is also under court order in Maine to disclose its contributors to the ballot measure there last November that took marriage away from more Americans.  Both of these governmental investigations and actions are largely due to Fred Karger, the intrepid co-founder of the boycott against Manchester and now a candidate for the Republican nomination for president.

NOM is accused of laundering large sums of money directed to it by the Catholic and Mormon Churches into campaigns, ads and even tours.  As Courage Campaign and our friends at Freedom to Marry have seen on our NOM Tour Tracker, the money is not used to get out crowds; it is used instead for fancy buses, staff and most importantly for raw politics.  NOM is the classic, if well-heeled sock puppet.

But what of GOProud?  It received at least $16,000 from Mr. Manchester’s entities which constitutes 86% of its total reported budget.  That’s right.  GOProud seems proud to go right to a sugar daddy who happily wrote checks to another front organization, apparently so Mr. Manchester and his Hyatt could say, “We’re okay now. Even though we paid to take marriage away from potentially millions of people, we’ve just given money to a right-wing gay organization, the purpose of which is to raise and spend money to support candidates who oppose marriage and equality for all.”

Are you following this?  It’s complicated, but it’s in the tradition of Andrew Breitbart and right-wing dirty tricks.  For two solid years, UNITE HERE, the hotel and restaurant workers union, has stood firm with groups like Courage Campaign and the entire LGBT community in San Diego to boycott Mr. Manchester’s property. UNITE HERE fought diligently against Prop. 8 and has continued to demand equality at every opportunity. For two years, Mr. Manchester has suffered a huge loss in revenue.  And for nearly two years, Mr. Manchester has retained the services of people like gay PR man Howard Bragman, who makes money by advising stars on coming out of the closet and donors to Prop. 8 in gay-washing their dirty money.  (Mr. Bragman wrote here on HuffPo that he supports boycotts, but that seemed to change when Mr. Manchester started to pay him to break the boycott that he said he supported.)

The irony of it all is that Mr. Manchester and his advisors seem to have found their ideal fake solution to their anti-American, anti-equality money machine. They can give money to GOProud so that GOProud can be a gay voice in support of anti-gay and regressive candidates such as Mary Bono Mack, Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn and Carly Fiorina.  Indeed, GOProud advertised against Tom Campbell, the only Republican in the Senate race who supports full equality for LGBT people.  GOProud proves that self-loathing knows no bounds.

Courage and our allies at UNITE HERE and virtually the entire LGBT community will proudly continue to honor the boycott of Manchester hotels as we all become increasingly wary of Hyatt itself. We’ll also continue to track NOM on its tour and its money hose so that the true movement for equality and American progress can prevail.

Sock puppets and sugar daddies. It could be the title of a book about the end of right wing, anti-family, fear mongers.  In fact, it’s a sad commentary on desperate people who realize that they stand at the fringes of America and history itself.  Until progress prevails, we’ll hold them all accountable.


  • 1. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Mee first!!!

  • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:12 am


  • 3. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Me second!

  • 4. Alan E.  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:32 am

    …and the gimme gimmes!

  • 5. Alan E.  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:34 am

    ok still not working. now subscribe

  • 6. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:51 am

    +100 for the Gimmes reference!

  • 7. Ann S.  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:54 am


  • 8. Kathleen  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Moi, aussi

  • 9. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:06 am

    This might have been a better article if it didn't use tired terms and old cliches and maybe even had a reference or two to support the allegations made.


  • 10. ralzma  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:11 am

    This comment might have been better if it had followed probably the first rule of criticism: be specific. Vagueness doesn't help anyone improve, y'know? Just saying "tired terms and old cliches" means nothing if you don't point out what you think the tired terms and old cliches are.

  • 11. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Whoops-didn't recognize the links embedded in the text. Never mind that last comment about references…


  • 12. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Hanging around.

  • 13. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Hey everyone! I am back and doing well. I got back home yesterday but wanted to wait until I felt better before writing anything.

    A shout-out to all the community wishing me well. I have never had the opportunity to be ill ever in my life, so the outpouring of support brought tears to my eyes. Most of all, I take such great comfort that modern technology let Kirill spend the night with me in the hospital. I have never before known what this kind of love was like. Now more than ever I know that I want to marry and share my life with him. This is due me. And it is due all of us.

    I don't know how to express myself very well about the story I have to tell, but I am overwhelmed by the timing of the gay marriage movement and my particular circumstances. I was raised to believe that happiness was not to be mine and the only options given me were to follow the wretchedly straight and narrow-minded or else become an absolutely wasted pathetic promiscuous gay sinner… so of course I followed my heart.

    My mother, on the other hand, chose the path to perdition and caved to family and societal pressure by marrying a Catholic man. I am sure she would have wanted to be a good mother, and I am sure that he would have been a decent father, but the sham of the One Man + One Woman Only Philosophy coerced her to make a horrifically poor choice and for him to become marred in a life of ignorance and later arrogance. The children suffered… badly.

    My surgery this past week, and other medical issues, stem back to my childhood when my parents were too busy fighting and hurting each other to be able to focus on their children. I tried to tell them that I would bleed abnormally but after awhile I was just too scared to tell them anything. So I let it go. Over the next several decades I was too busy rehabilitating my grandmother and caring for her, helping my siblings to get through school and college, paying my father's rent, helping to shield my mother from her abusive girlfriend/wife and in general taking care of everyone else who needed me to bother with myself. I had determined that after I had met my goals I would just quietly depart this life.

    Well I met my goals and as fate would have it, along came a man who needed me more than I needed to go. I have spent the last two years helping him and his venerable uncle, who is also gay, to rebuild their lives. And in the process, they have insisted that I start on mine all over again. So here we are full circle.

    Finally after 30 years, I am able to address the illnesses that have plagued me my whole life. Illnesses that very likely were caused by hatred of gays (saying anything more about my condition is just too personal for me right now) and that was left untreated in large part to the heinous fallacies of the perjurious One Man One Woman myth. The same false ideology that keeps Kevyn from being physically by my side.

    Just being able to actually receive care was enough to leave me emotionally raw; unraveling 30 years of emotional damage had me in tears sobbing. But with all the advances we have made, I was still subjected to a tiny bit of prejudicial proselytizing. Right there in the PACU recovery room, strung out on painkillers and bawling in an unexpected but not unheard of emotional release, I got to hear my nurse utter the phrase, "Well I really only support the One Man One Woman ideal."

    The comment was not solicited from her. Others might let this go as just being uncouth, but I have taken the same professional oath as this woman and can state unequivocally that one's personal views are to be kept personal and not promoted in a professional nursing capacity unless it is beneficial to the patient. I didn't need to hear her defend her beliefs when there was no attack on them. I was crying over my mother's actions and how I ended up in the hospital that day.

    But you would all be proud! (I hope.) I did stand up to be counted. I challenged the woman and asked her if her philosophy was worth letting young adults like my mother suffer a lifetime of anguish and if she honestly thought her philosophy justified my decades of pain. It was a quiet civil discussion. Throughout it she evaded questions, changed the topic, used circular logic, invoked the Bible and her religious philosophy (to which I responded that her comments were superfluous as I was not part of her religious belief system) and generally talked like Mr. BS Brown. But in the end she committed to one small but (in my world view) important concession. She proclaimed that her views really just applied to herself and that she had no interest in campaigning against universal marriage.

    Psychology tells us that when someone commits to something out loud, they will tend to follow their word. It was a painful day for me. No blood family to see me through the process, no partner to hold my hand, a life threatening illness only just addressed and a woman who need to express her personal views more than to tend to my mental and emotional anguish (very un-nursely of her!) But hearing her proclaim her lack of desire to see others harmed by a philosophy that needed to be applied inwardly and not onto others; this was a minor triumph. She showed that underneath all the mental gymnastics there was a caring soul.

    My life isn't perfect and neither is the world I live in. My lover and fiancé spent the night with me from 5000 miles away. My past will always be there and I will be a middle aged man before I can have a husband and life partner with whom I can create a family open to children who will be well loved.

    But the tides are turning. The change is now. In a monumental way this surgery is the tipping point of my life. For the first time I feel I can choose to be happy, for the first time I can feel Gay!

    I love all of you. I will be there to support everyone of you even if all I can do is just facilitate a change of a single point of view. Thank you all.

    Love, Felyx… and love Kirill too. :`)

  • 14. Alan E.  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Welcome back!

  • 15. Ronnie  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Yes welcome back Felyx…. <3…Ronnie

  • 16. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:00 am

    All of your comments and support has been wonderful. Kirill has kept me informed on all the goings on throughout my stay. he read out each and every comment and told me about all the posts. I feel better already and hope to be able to give NOM a little heck on the 10th. I am not sure of what Raleigh has planned but I know that NOM is so misdirected that once again they will get PWNED as they have everywhere else. If there is video and pictures I will point myself out. Felyx

  • 17. Kathleen  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:02 am

    It's so good to hear from you. Sending good vibes your way for a speedy recovery… and also sending cyber hugs and kisser. <3

  • 18. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Love you Kathleen, at some point we should Skype! Thank you so much for the support and love. Felyx

  • 19. AndrewPDX  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Thank you Felyx for sharing your story.
    I don't know if I could have had the patience and energy to discuss that with the nurse; I would have probably told her to just jump out the window. And then I would have missed the opportunity to get her to realize that maybe, just maybe, she should keep her attitudes to herself.

    And thank you, Kirill, for sharing your love with this wonderful human being!


  • 20. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:07 am


    I was feeling like crap and vomiting from the stupid morphine. (I just don't know how some people can get addicted to that stuff!!)

    I figured instead of whining and giving into the pain and discomfort I would do something proactive. Actually there were several nurses there. One was impressed with my Russian until I explained that I was being taught by my boyfriend. She was very distant afterwards but she stayed very professional and said nothing more. Kudos to her. There was a Filipino woman who was very agreeable and enjoyed hearing about Kirill. She herself was part of a binational couple seeing as she could not bring her family with her. Most Filipino that I know are very intelligent and understanding of diversity.

    I believe in progress and I believe in speaking up when able. I was able and I hope that it will bring NC and the world a tiny step closer to reality… er equality.

    Love Felyx.

  • 21. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Felyx, I'm exhaling after reading your story as I was not able to inhale at allwhile reasing. First off, I wish you a wonderful recovery and that this will make you stronger. You and Kevyn, are in the same catagory as my minor grandchildren born to my daughter inlaw via an anonymous sperm donor my duaghter is not allowed by law to be a legal co parent to her twin 2 year old children.

    What do the two have in common you ask? Speical needs is my answer. You and Kevyn and my grandchildren have a special need in having the marriage laws change. You suffer a higher burden by not being able to be together physically becasue of discrimination. The government will not let Kevin in the country on a Fiancee Visa as hetrosexual couples are able to get. It is an extra burden to be seperated by 5,000 miles because of discrimination. Likewise my minor grandchildren are harmed by legally only having one parent and 2 grandparents, instead of 2 parents and 4 grandparents. As adults we can shoulder a lot of unfairness, but children, little children, should not be made to suffer. Those of you who live in states that permit co parents by SS couples be grateful to what you have in your state. If we don't get a positive ruling in Prop8 I will be strongly encouraging my daughter to move to a more progressive state.

    Felyx, your story really moved me, it brought tears to my eyes knowing you have to make do with Kevyn/Kirill (hope I spelled that right) only being able to be with you in the hospital via the computer, it's not right, it's just not right. But I have to say your words were at the same time strong and victorious. Whatever crap the world throws at you, you WIILL be together with Kevyn. I sincerely hope you will be together soon, and that also you have children.

    I sometimes write about my daughter because she is the parent to my grandchildren, I have always been in this fight not becuase of my children so much, but because of my grandchildren, I have said this many times. I don't mention my son as often becasue he has not yet so far blessed me with grandchildren, but I am working on him. It drives me a bit crazy becuase his husband really wants children and my son is hanging back. I know that my gay son and his husband will make wonderful wonderful parents and Felyx I know you and Kevyn also would make excellent parents. You both have fire in your belly for equality and also the counterbalance to that fire, LOVE. Don't loose that dream Felyx. I hope the HELL the laws change soon, I hope very soon. You and Kevyn are a special needs case, your burden under the current laws are heavy.

  • 22. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Dear Grandma,

    How can I even contemplate giving up hope when I see so many cases being won, so much science validating us, so many surveys proving the tides are turning? I feel anguish that your time is limited for you to enjoy your children and grandchildren in the manner that is due you. But take heart! Stick around long enough (and from the sound of your fighting spirit I am sure you will!) and you will see the day when all our rights are validated and our dreams become just as normal and possible as those of any other human.

    I love you Grandma. I want you to know, and I want all of the P8TT community to know, that Kirill and I are planning to have an internet wedding ceremony someday and you are all invited. We met through the net, fell in love over Skype, lived and loved with the aid of modern technology. Whether our wedding is an international ceremony or a geographical centered one, we now have the ability to invite you all and let you all join in. Keep in touch all of you and one day we will celebrate this all together.

    We love you all,

    Felyx & Kevyn

  • 23. StraightForEquality  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I wish you a rapid recovery!

  • 24. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:39 am

    To all of you who wish me a rapid recovery,

    I will let you know, the surgery was the recovery! For the first time I am living without constant intense pain. What is left is just routine therapy until all the tissue heals without scarring.

    I hope to be at the Raleigh rally. If there are pictures I will point myself out to you.

    Love Felyx

  • 25. Papa Foma  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:26 am

    All I can add is in response to a man needing you more than you needed to go — Perhaps my life's reason has been fulfilled by our meeting. Happy to tears!

  • 26. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:45 am

    For those of you who don't know,

    Before Papa Foma, I was ready to just give up. The pain, the suffering, the friends and partners lost to suicide, the hopelessness… it was enough to do anyone in. Only his sad puppy dog eyes and his desperate need for professional nursing assistance for his abused elder uncle stayed my hands. I had to help just one more person… and then another.

    BS and Mag-Hag fight for an idea, I preserve peoples lives!

    Papa gave me hope, Uncle Bob gave me a second chance, Kirill makes life worth living to the fullest!

    I plan on doing much more than I ever dreamed possible! I love you all, and in my own special way, I will make the world a better place for us all.

    Love you dearly, Felyx

  • 27. PamC  |  August 1, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Felyx, so glad you are doing better. Missed you.

    And you nailed it: they are fighting for abstractions, we are fighting for our lives, our loves, our personhood.

  • 28. Mark M  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Welcome back Felyx! You have been sorely missed my friend.
    Big Hugs
    Mark M.

  • 29. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Hugs Mark,

    Hugs to all the Marks out there lurking about… you know who you are! 😛


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

    Thank you for the update. And yes, I for one am proud of you. You stood up to be counted, and you did so in a non-confrontational, rational, adult manner. And it is so good to hear that you made it through surgery okay. We will try to make it up to see you when you are feeling up to having visitors. In the meantime, rest up, and take care of yourself. You deserve it. And yes, you and Kirille deserve the utmost in happiness. You have that right because you are human beings and you are alive.

  • 31. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Richard I thank you for your friendship and your though provoking insights. I talked with Kirill about your questions to BS Brown as well as the questions from others.

    I say NOM is shpitting in the wind and they know it. The only question I had wanted to ask BS Brown et als, was why they were so confident about court cases and anti-marriage laws. But there is no use asking these questions. There is no way to spin inevitable defeat! Without the money from wealthy gullible ideologists with no basis in reality, NOM would dry up and blow away.

    It is too impractical and pointless to ask BS Brown why he though having six kids was in anyway responsible. Has he put up a minimum of $50,000 for each one to receive a decent college education? Or is he an idiot like my devout KOC Catholic father who did not contribute to the education of his many children? In addition to the $300K for education, has he socked away another $100K for healthcare, dental and vision for his kids? Bear in mind, this would all have to be saved up in advance and cannot come from the money currently spent on everyday living! Brian needs his job desperately. $103K is not enough for a family of 8. Not really. Does he tithe 1/10th of it to the church? I doubt it. I should hope he doesn't though… as his family should come BEFORE his faith! (If he is ethical he can go and get a special dispensation from the bishop to forgo the tithe due to family needs… I would love to know if he has done even that.)

    Arisha is no Barbara Walters for sure, but I admire her willingness to put herself out there. Without months of planning and a David Boies like tenacity I don't think she could do much better. When peoples livelihoods depend on what they are doing there is no appealing to the mind or the heart. Even the executioner would tell you he is sorry but he has to feed his family.

    Brian is a family man who was never encouraged to really think about what he was doing. Now his job depends on his not applying any realistic thought to true world politics but only to keeping his job. He is fairly ineffective and the whole NOM tour is a bust regardless of whatever the original nefarious purposes were. One day BS will have to struggle with another job in order to meet the impossible demands he has set for himself. His children will become dependent on grandparents or others since he will never be able to properly support them on his own.

    Since I last talked with you Richard, I think I have lost my zeal for marveling at BS and Mag-Hags. Even Louis seems so much the less interesting. Clearly none of them are really reading this site. Sure they may be covering the comments on the rallies and might perk up their collective eyebrows when they see their names, but it is obvious they are skipping over the stories of struggles and pain. If it doesn't involved confrontation or intel gathering, then it is not something they would want to read. After all, it is hard to see other humans in pain and still want to fight them.

    Anyway Richard, I don't know what Raleigh has planned if anything but I will show up. If for no other reason, I will go just to see self perpetuating tragedy in action.

    Love, Felyx

  • 32. Bryan  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Glad to hear you're doing better. I've been insanely busy with school and school-prep the last few months to follow the comments to see just how your bond with Kirill grew but I'm glad to hear that too. Thank you for standing up to that Nurse, that could not have been very easy in the state you were in. Speedy recovery and I wish you guys all the love in the world!

  • 33. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Good luck with your classes Bryan, God willing I will be back in school with in a year. Love you all. Felyx

  • 34. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Hi Felyx,

    It's so good to hear things went well and great to have you back here posting in earnest. Thank you for that wonderful post! Regarding your encounter with the unprofessional, unethical and uncaring nurse, you made us proud. Your response to her callous remarks can serve as a model for others. Well done!

  • 35. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Hehehe, let's not get carried away Dpeck. She had a momentary lapse of professionalism, nothing more. She was certainly ethical and caring in all of her duties as a nurse. Her remarks were not so much callous as just a bit thoughtless. I would not encourage mountains out of molehills. I will leave that to the NOM Persecution Tour.

    For everyone out there I would remind you, she was interested in discussion and we came to a nice middle ground of mutual respect and non-interference. If only NOMmers were this advanced in their thinking!

    Anyway, I am sure what you are really saying Dpeck, is that you are proud that we are speaking out to the ordinary Americans and allowing them to meet us face to face in their everyday lives. Older folks are sometimes set in the routine of their lives and need that stability. This particular person, I am sure, will walk away with a positive view of someone who had a poignant story and a rational request.

    All in all, I am overwhelmed by the support from all of the P8TT community. Certainly for me this has become an unusual facet of my life. More than just brothers and sisters (and a few crotchety aunts of a sort) I have a Straight Grandmother, a new matching gay Jew set including one Rabbi, friends across the nation, across the globe really and of course, there is the Russian Spy who infiltrated my heart. (Pardon the sap.) I have talked with you, emailed you, met you in person, rallied with you and even fallen in love. I hope to meet you all soon regardless of real time or virtual.

    So fellow P8TTers, I think we have moved beyond the internet community phase. Truly we are family. And for those of you who are dedicated, Kirill and I are planning a wedding on Second Life in the coming year. You know you are all invited!
    So stay in touch. Show your colors (even if you prefer just black and white) and celebrate with us. I love you all.

    Thank you Dpeck for your dedication and support.


  • 36. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    : ) OK, I suppose I was a bit harsh on her, but she really should have thought before she spoke. I'm glad it worked out the way it did, thanks to you. And a wedding you say? Fabulous! This is wonderful! I'll have to read up on this Second Life thing. Ah, the internet.

  • 37. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    @Felyx AND Kevyn- Hey don't forget to register for wedding gifts 🙂
    When you marry people will want to share your love and send a gift. Don't say no on this, this is Straight Grandmother, grandmothers know how these things go and if it is a wedding then make it easy on your guests and register. Ahhh yes your Russian spy LOL. Oh the times we have had on this board….

  • 38. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Hmph…I seem to have gotten a speck of dust in my eye. Yes, that must be it, I'm too tough to cry. Yeah, right… :~)

  • 39. Franck  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Well, it seems specks of dust are flying around everywhere, I did get one too <:]

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1137 days, as of today.

  • 40. Anonygrl  |  August 1, 2010 at 2:12 am

    I just want to come find you and give you a big old hug, just because.

    Then I want to find Kirill and pack him up in a big (comfortable, with airholes… and cushions) box and FedEx him to you right away!

    Glad you are on the mend!

  • 41. Lee  |  August 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

    What an inspiration you are……you inspired me to stand up for ME

  • 42. StraightForEquality  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:44 am


  • 43. AndrewPDX  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Forgot to subscribe

  • 44. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:37 am

    So, they have found their GINO's (Gay In Name Only) to support them, have they?
    Apparently GOProud is only claiming to be gay so that they can siphon off our hard-earned money to keep us in oppression, just the same as NARTH, Exodus and all the other "ex-gay" groups do. Talk about being two-faced.

  • 45. JonT  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Yeah, you know I've never really understood them (like LRC). I don't know how you can be part of a pro-gay organization, that seems to be a small part of a larger anti-gay organization.

    Must be some really conflicted people in those organizations.

  • 46. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I think it's part of the diversity of our community. There are MANY liberal concepts that most gays I know share that I don't agree with. But even so, there are some things that I do agree with. I might have conservative tendencies but that doesn't make me anti-gay.

    Let's not forget that many of the judges who have ruled on our behalf are conservative. Let's not forget that there are conservatives out there that believe in small government, less government intrusion, and do NOT like the way the Republicans have been hijacked by the religious minority.

    I've always thought it is wrong for members of our community to instantly put down someone because he or she in a conservative or a republican. Oh, yeah, let's not also forget that just as not all republicans are against us, not all democrats are for us either. We need to keep an open mind about everybody.

    Dave in Maine

  • 47. JonT  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    @Dave in Maine: Hugs!

    I'm sorry – I did not mean to disrespect conservatives… 🙂

    I guess my main problem with conservatives (more specifically – modern-day republicans) is their attachment to the religious-right's POV on social issues.

    'There are MANY liberal concepts that most gays I know share that I don’t agree with.'

    I would agree. There are some 'conservative' principles I agree with as well, some I do not. Same with 'liberal' principles. I am Grey.

    But certain concepts like 'smaller government', well – that's a slippery slope 🙂 Smaller socially? Smaller militarily? It seems both parties love to spend money – what differs is where they want to get it from, and what they want to spend it on 🙂

    But in the end, the song remains the same.

    Ok – really do not want to get into a political discussion here 🙂

    'I’ve always thought it is wrong for members of our community to instantly put down someone because he or she in a conservative or a republican.'

    I agree – and I apologize if I've done that. If I do that in the future – please call me on it. I don't want to be 'that guy'.

    That's one of the things I love about this community – diversity. Civil discourse. Beauty, in the dark.

    But -you have to admit – how many 'liberal' churches are spending money and time to keep my gay ass in a closet?

    Just say'in… 😉


  • 48. JonT  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:48 am


  • 49. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:50 am

    As a close follower of this website I get to knwo the writing style of the topic posters. I got to about the 3rd paragraph, stopped and then cursored up to the top to see who wrote the piece. Yeah Rick, keep the sun shining on the truth.

  • 50. Billy Pollina  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Excellent piece Rick. Thank you. Sharing.

  • 51. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Okay, I checked out the GOProud website; and for the life of me I can't see the point of identifying themselves as gay. I don't see any advocacy efforts. All I see is an organization commited to the conservative Republican agenda.

    I think it's a smoke screen like Richard said. A decoy to syphon money away from true LGBTQ advocacy organizations, while providing cover for those who actively support anti-equality candidates and legislation.

    Thanks for bringing this organization to our attention, Rick.

  • 52. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Not all gay people and organizations have the same agenda. "GOProud is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy." Not all gay people are against that.

    This notion that we must all think alike and have the same agenda is rather chilling.

  • 53. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Dave–I didn't mean to imply that all gays must think alike. The observation I was attempting to make was that there is nothing that I could find on their website that supports their need to identify themselves as gay. From what I could find, they are simply a conservative Republican organization. I have no problem with that. But why point out that they are a gay organization?

  • 54. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Sure, some gay people want to reduce crime in the inner city, some want to save the whales, some want bigger govornment, some want smaller govornment. Lots of room for all of us to pursue what is important to each of us as individuals.

    But a gay group that actively works to deny equal rights to other gay people? It's extremely hurtful and unfair to a huge number of people when ANYONE does this. It's even worse when people who are gay do it. Apparently, they are not personally interested in equal marriage rights, and they don't care if they hurt other gay people as long as they get what they do want (lower tax bracket, whatever). It's extremely selfish and self centered.

  • 55. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:55 am

    …. and besides that, if they were really committed to 'limited govornment and individual liberty' as they state, they would NOT be endorsing or donating money to candidates who advocated MORE govornment interference in people's lives in the form of legislation that denies equal marriage rights. They are liars.

  • 56. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Hi, Linda-

    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that YOU thought that, but many in our community do.

    You do bring up a good point-why do they point out that they are a gay organization? I am not sure. I would like to hear from Mr. LaSalvia about that and to answer the allegations that have been made. HAVE they been actively working against us?


  • 57. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Dave–From the little I've been able to gather, and I am admittedly ignorant, it seems that they honor their commitment to conservative Republican candidates and legislation ABOVE their implied commitment to gay rights. Honestly, I found nothing on their website that showed their support of anything beneficial to the LGBT community. If they didn't boldly identify themselves as gay there would be no evidence of it. That is what disturbed me. Why would an organization make a point of identifying its members as being gay and then NOT actively support ANY gay causes? It makes me think that the 'gay' label is thrown in to make politically conservative LGBT's think they've finally found their niche. It also looks good when it is listed as a recipient of donations from donors with a history of supporting anti-gay legislation.

    Actions speak louder than words; and their actions speak to conservative republican government AT THE EXPENSE of Gay Rights.

  • 58. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:42 am

    They have plenty of smoking guns on their own website and it shows that Rick's article is accurate.

    They opposed Tom Campbell, the only Republican running who supported equal marriage rights, and instead they backed a candidate who opposed equal marriage rights. And their web site goes on to talk about how important it was for them to defeat the incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer, who has always been a VERY strong LGBT ally here in California.

    They support Carly Fiorina, who is a right wing conservative and is on the record as being opposed to equal marriage rights. If she gets into office it will be a disaster for a lot of LGBTs here in California

    There is nothing new about this kind of organization. It is clear what they stand for. They want lower taxes for the small segment of the gay community who happen to be wealthy. And to hell with the rest of the gays. They have theirs, screw everybody else. It's just greed, plain and simple.

  • 59. JonT  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    'This notion that we must all think alike and have the same agenda is rather chilling.'

    We don't. Hell – we can't! We've all had our experiences. My 'agenda' is equality.

    GOProud is attempting to be more of an advocate than Log Cabin Republicans (LRC), has been perceived to be. Sorta like the wars between the entrenched HRC, and newer in-your-face organizations like GE/QA/QR.

    Competition is a good thing, isn't it?

    I am disappointed that they (both GOProud and LRC) take a very… passive role within their party. Did you see the crap GOProud had to put up with sponsoring the last CPAC?

    I admit to not really understanding why they stand with a party that seems to embrace religion-sponsored LGBT oppression.

    But seeing them alongside NOM at CPAC did cause me to at least grudgingly respect them. I will not condemn them – even though I admit to not really understanding them 😉

  • 60. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:18 am


  • 61. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Tour coverage

    NOM Warms Up In Minnesota For Iowa Anti-Gay Marriage Rallies;…

  • 62. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Sunday in Iowa

    Dueling Rallies Set For Same-Sex Marriage

  • 63. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:45 am

    David Boies on Prop 8

    The case against Prop. 8: unconstitutional bias

  • 64. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Excellent! Not sure if I can make it but I'm really going to make an effort to be there for this event (why do all these Commonwealth Club events happen so darned early?? It's really hard to get there in time if you don't work in downtown SF!!). If I make it there I'll be sure to report back here & let you all know what went on.

  • 65. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Words, way to subtle for arguing with NOM, but Maggie says 'there is no right to gay marriage'. In fact, the constitutionally protected right is the right 'to marry.' Obviously, the constitution does not apply to the couple… it's an individual right. Each person has the right to marry.

    From the David Boies article, above.

    It used to be that everyone had the right to marry as long as they wanted to marry someone of the right race. Now, everyone has the right to marry, as long as they marry someone of the right gender.

  • 66. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:21 am

    NOM's activities in Iowa

    NOM meddles in Iowa politics after previous ethics admonition

    "In a nationwide e-mail NOM flaunted state law by telling donors that “best of all… NOM has the ability to protect donor identities…”

  • 67. rick jacobs  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Where to begin? The most fascinating and exciting part of this entire blog is the story of Kirill and Felyx. Of course, I really hope you meet before you marry. That would be a generally wise course of action.Nevertheless, the idea that love is found in community is the essence of our cause.

    NOM says that we do not and cannot love as completely as "they" can. They said in the Prop. 8 trial that by Kirill and Felyx falling in love and marrying, the institution of marriage would be ruined. To quote Mr. Cooper, the defendant-intervenor's lead counsel, "it would lead to the end of civilization." That's what he said.

    But we see right here before our eyes that the opposite is true. Civilization will advance and bring about fewer divisions when gays and lesbians are allowed to marry. Remember that even the defense's best witness (they only had two) said children of gays and lesbians would be better off, gays and lesbians would be better off and America would be better off if gays and lesbians could marry. That's a virtual quote from Mr. Blankenhorn (I remember blogging this in January).

    Felyx, do not feel despair about this project. Team NOM reads this blog. Mr. Brown referred to it in an inverview with Arisha. But we don't care if they read it. We care that the public–your friends, your neighbors, their friends and their neighbors–read it and know the truth. The truth is that this is about love and nothing else.

    And look at the love in this community that expressed itself about your health, Felyx, a concern I share.

    As to the broader point of the blog post, thanks for the kind words and for the sharp commentary. Indeed GOProud is a front organization. A few very far right gay guys decided to raise some money by saying, "We're gay and we want to elect people who hate us." No wonder Mr. Manchester forked over; he's paying agents to do for himself even more than he could have done because he issued an "apology" for taking marriage away from millions and he cannot spend money as openly to advance his divisive agenda. Enter GOProud. And I hope they go soon, proud or otherwise.

    Again, thank you all for the love, the organizing and the diligence. We have two more weeks to go and then the really hard work begins, which is telling our stories to everyone, changing the landscape of love and integration in our country. And that's what Testimony is all about.

    I'm honored to be part of this community.


  • 68. JonT  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    @Rick – I agree with your post (get well felyx!) – up to this point:

    'Indeed GOProud is a front organization. A few very far right gay guys decided to raise some money by saying, “We’re gay and we want to elect people who hate us.”'

    Maybe I'm missing something, but this is not the way I've seen it. Please feel free to enlighten me.

    GOProud was started to get around the percieved ineffectiveness of the Log Cabin Republicans (LRC). LRC was a gay rights org within the republican party, but pretty much ignored -as minorities typically are in any group.

    GOProud, as my understanding has it, was an attempt to get around LRC's de-facto irrelevance within the republican party. To be more pro-active and in-your-face, as far as such things can go in current conservative circles.

    The main issue that inhibits GOProud and LRC is the stranglehold the religious right has on the republican party.

    I'm sorry if I offend – but I view LRC and GOProud's members as brothers and sisters in our common struggle.

    They may have a different political view, and as I've mentioned before – I do not understand their support for modern-day republicans – but I do not and cannot despise or disrespect them.

    It's almost like you are calling them the 'uncle-toms' of gay-dom – I do not think that's fair.

    I disagree with some of their politics – but they are brothers and sisters in this struggle.

  • 69. rick jacobs  |  July 31, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    GOProud supports people like Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn who opposes equality for LGBT people. They ran ads against Tom Campbell, a Republican running for senate in California who supports equality. If GO Proud elects the majority of its dreams, LGBT people will lose rights we have and will never see further equality.

    That's not good for LGBT people, not good for America.

  • 70. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    "they are brothers and sisters in this struggle."

    They are NOT in this struggle. They have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with equal rights for LGBTs.They work to elect candidates who oppose equal rights for LGBTs.

    So ask yourself – what would motivate them to do that? what's in it for them?

  • 71. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:47 pm


    There are many people who are (small c) conservatives who cannot go along with where the Republican party has taken 'conservatism'. There are people who are small government, fiscal conservatives who are socially liberal. Some of those people have moved into the 'middle', identifying as libertarians or independent.

    The Log Cabin Republicans are that kind of conservative. I would hesitate in the current Republican climate to criticize them for being ineffective; unlike HRC in the Democratic camp, they're rolling a cannonball uphill. And along the lines of 'what have they done for us lately',they are the plaintiffs in, and funding, the DADT lawsuit.

    On the other hand, GoProud may be gay and Republican, but they are doing nothing good for the community with the candidates they choose to support or oppose.

  • 72. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Rick, YES…YES…YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Felyx and the Russian Spy [LOL on the spy part] Krill [Kevyn] (Okay now Kirille or however it is you spell it) ARE a HUGE real life example of what we are about as a community on this website. They are a Special Needs couple, forced by state sanctioned discrimination to be apart. No Hetrosexual couple has to endure like Felyx and Kevyn, no for them there are special US Fiancee Visas.

    Likewise Rick I wish you would speak up for the Special Needs of minor children of GLBT families. Many people on this forum are in states that have state approved Civil Unions, and legal adoption and co parenting of children.

    Rick once in a while talk about the children who are living in states that do not have these rights. If Felyx and Kevyn are a Special needs couple, and they are, certainly small childen, minor children who live in states like Virgina, are also Special Needs. I notice that hardly anyone here besides me talks about the children being raised in GLBT families in states that do not recognize their familees, and it breaks my heart. I am just a Straight Granmother who wants to be the legal parent to her grandchildren. Somebody please talk about the children, please!!!! Not all states are like California and Washington, in fact most states will not permit my daughter to legally become the parent, along with her wife to my 2 year old twin grandchildren. Think of the babies, please. This is why I fight so hard, this is why I bought that Rainbow flag that Bryan & Biff carried to the counter protest in Indianapolis, it is for my grandchildren. And I really don't care who on this website puts me down, and claims we GLBT people are all "EquaL" and we are all the same. Yes we ARE all EQUAL as human beings however I will speak up for those in our community who have Special Needs which is NOT actually EQUAL, the current discriminotry laws hurt some of use MORE than others.

  • 73. Ann S.  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Another straight ally here.

    We do need to talk about children more. My husband often makes this point — we know their scare tactics and "oh noes, what about the children" tactics are all BS, but for many they are actually effective.

    We need to counter that more.

    We need to talk about the children harmed by lack of marriage equality.

    We need to counter their BS arguments of "oh no, kids will learn in school that it's ok to be gay" — not the one that we on this board understand, that of course it's ok, but one that will speak to some of the people not quite completely convinced by NOM, but still worried about the kids.

  • 74. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Just a thought for the night, friends.

    WE are the new abolitionists.

    WE are the new suffragists.

    WE are the new civil rights activists.

    WE are on the right side of history.

  • 75. Randy  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Someone needs to investigate the people behind GOProud. Are they really gay, or are they cuckoos in our nest?

  • 76. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:28 am

    NOM anti-gay-marriage bus stop changed from Tampa to Orlando

  • 77. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Plans for the counter protest in Orlando

    The protest NOM does NOT want to see

  • 78. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:58 am


  • 79. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Felyx ,Thank You so much for sharing so much with all of us. Very moving story. I wish nothing but love and happiness for you and Kevyn always.
    I'm so sorry you have had to go through so much. But now you have Kevyn and you have us. You are LOVED and not alone, not alone at all.. ((HUGS))
    I want to be facebook friends you and with so many people on here. How to go about it, I do not know.

  • 80. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    If you are on FB, go to the P8TT group on FB, and you will find most of us there. This way you will know that you are finding the right names. As for myself, bring it on, Tim!

  • 81. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Richard I searched P8TT and can't find it. What is the official name of the group? I'm going to continue looking. Thanks

  • 82. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:16 am

    The page is "Prop 8 Trial Trackers" – I'm Kathleen Perrin (post on the wall there). Glad to be fb friends – just let me know you're from the CC site here when you send the request.

  • 83. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Sorry about that, Tim. That was my fault. I made the mistake of assuming that you knew our shorthand for the site name, which is also the group name.

  • 84. Felyx  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Welcome home Tim. Felyx :`)

  • 85. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Thank You so much Felyx! It truly feel's like home here! It is So exciting to get to know you wonderful people on a more personal level! I love you all! Now I will never get anything done. My husband is not going to be happy!

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