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With marriage equality fading as an issue in Iowa, NOM desperately tries to revive it

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“Is this heaven?”

“No, it’s Iowa.”

-Field of Dreams

By Adam Bink

Today, we’re coming to you from Des Moines, Iowa, after a weekend drive from Rochester, MN, where NOM experienced it’s second parking lot #NOMTurnoutFAIL (the first was in Lima, Ohio). Iowa is the first state we’ve encountered since New Hampshire several weeks ago where same-sex couples have the freedom to marry (and the second on the tour so far).

To set the stage a bit here, since the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court decision last year ruling that excluding same-sex couples from the freedom to marry is unconstitutional, the issue has largely faded as a controversy. Leaders of each body of the state legislature have declined to challenge it, and the neither body has plans to enact legislation putting an amendment to the vote of the people (such a vote would require approval of the General Assembly in two consecutive sessions). The former dean of Iowa political press corps (now with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute), David Yepsen, told the New York Times in June that the issue had faded from the scene: “Too many other things are upsetting people,” he noted, calling this year’s elections a referendum on Gov. Culver’s administration. In the same piece, even the head of the Iowa Family Policy Center noted that efforts to remove the Supreme Court justices had “gained little steam”. A June poll by local CBS affiliate KCCI found that a majority (53%) of Iowans support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. And well over 2,000 same-sex couples have legally married in the state. Despite this and the sky appearing to not have fallen, NOM has come to convince folks that it has and/or will.

We’ll have more from today’s events as it comes.

UPDATE BY ARISHA (12:44 PST): A golden-roofed Iowa State Capitol is the setting for today’s NOM “Summer for Marriage” stop.

Iowa State Capitol

86 NOM supporters are scattered under various shade trees when Brian Brown alerted the crowd that they’d be moving the podium from the top of the statehouse steps to an area closer to the crowd.

“We don’t want anyone to get heatstroke,” Brown said. “We’ll move to you.”

NOM supporters in Des Moines, IA

7 (updated: 43) equality activists are gathered to the side of the rally. However, we’re told that One Iowa will be holding a separate counter-rally today from 3-4 pm local time in Des Moines.

The local NBC affiliate is present.  Brown is currently surrounded by reporters. More to come as the rally proceeds.

UPDATE BY ARISHA (12:55 PST): The focus of today’s NOM rally is on the “secretive” and “backdoor” tactics used by equality activists to pass marriage in Iowa.

“Here in Iowa, you’re being told that you don’t have the right to vote, Brown said. “It’s really a very simple concept, if you want to change something so fundamental . . . At the very least, let the people have their say at the ballot box.”

Danny Carroll, a former Iowa elected official- now Chairman of the Iowa Family Policy Center- addressed the crowd.

Iowa Family Policy Center Chairman Danny Carroll

“We had a major shift in policy on marriage and you were told [nothing],” Carroll said. “Well, all political power is reserved for the people.”

Tamara Scott, Iowa State Director of Concerned Women for America, took a religious tack.

“Today I’m going to talk to you as a private citizen . . . a concerned mother . . . a taxpayer,” Scott began. “I’d rather be hated [by man] than be a stench in the nostrils of God Almighty.”

“I don’t want the village raising my child,” Scott continued. “It doesn’t take a village, it takes a family.”

Two interesting side notes on Scott’s speech:

1) Scott is responsible for making what must be the most convoluted marriage equality analogy to date, comparing NOM supporters to those who warned their Toyota-owning friends about the recall.

2) Scott acknowledged the Tea Party. “It’s time to put your pinky down, put down the teacup and have an energy drink.”

Brown ended the rally with a chant of “let us vote.”

As corrected above, a total of 43 equality supporters had gathered by the conclusion of the rally, many sporting such positive messages as this from supporter Amanda Eastin:

Pro-equality supporter in Des Moines Iowa

UPDATE BY ARISHA (2:09 PST): With Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered playing in the background, 298 equality activists and their families attended a short rally hosted by One Iowa, 2 miles down the road and an hour after NOM completed its Des Moines tour stop at the State Capitol. An incredible turnout dwarfing the pro-NOM rally.

The rally was filled with blue balloons, rainbow flags and One Iowa “Stand Proud” signs.

Pro-equality rally in Des Moines

One Iowa leading the rally in Des Moines
Ryan Crane with One Iowa

In unison, the crowd responds with a powerful chant of “stand proud,” in response to the speaker’s call.

Later this afternoon, I’ll have an extensive interview with Brian Brown in which I give him the David Blakehorn treatment. Blakenhorn was the Prop 8 defense expert who was questioned on the stand about the positive consequences of same-sex marriage- and faltered greatly. You’ll see what I mean later. Stay tuned.

More photos rolling in from the One Iowa rally:

Straight family for equality in Des Moines!

A marriage same-sex couple turning out at the One Iowa rally in Des Moines

Jen Harvey, Chris Harper Patterson and their child speaking at the One Iowa rally in Des Moines

Jen Harvey and Chris Harper Patterson with their child


  • 1. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 1, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Under Felyx (hehehe)

  • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 1, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Scribing for many emails!

  • 3. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:09 am


  • 4. John  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:59 am


  • 5. Alan E.  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:23 am


  • 6. JonT  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Bring on the electrons.

  • 7. Felyx  |  August 1, 2010 at 5:49 am


  • 8. Ann S.  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Count me in.

  • 9. Rubbsdecvik  |  August 1, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I'm originally from Iowa. I can tell you that while this swing state has a reputation of being "back woodsy" people there are generally wonderful people. They respect people. Most of the people "against" gay marriage are just people who haven't really been confronted with the issue much. I'm not surprised to hear that this has become more of a non-issue with people there, because Iowan's have a lot more to worry about, and many communities have seen gay marriages already. They have now seen first hand that gay marriage will not collapse society.

    I'm hoping the rally later today goes really well, I want our side to out number the NoM folks. I wish I was back in Iowa now, I'd try to do my part.

  • 10. Mackenzie  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I also hail form Iowa! I am not a fan of the state itself just because so little happens there. But you are so right, I have never met a better bunch of friendly, caring people in any other state. Many Iowans I know tend to be fiscally conservative, but pretty libertarian on social issues. Iowa political thought is Idealistic, like many of the other central northern states. This is unlike the individualistic political though found in most of the rustbelt and central US, and very different from southern states traditionalist thought. Idealistic thought is one that believes that politics can and should be used for the greater good of the collective and therefore are more involved and content with the decisions made by elected and appointed officials. I know for a fact that there are plenty of Christian Conservatives in the state, but a majority of Iowans are fair minded people that actually think for themselves.

  • 11. Steve  |  August 1, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Just look at the age of the people sitting there. 'nuff said.

  • 12. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Steve that was my exact first thought…

  • 13. Mackenzie  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:05 am

    HAHA Iowa is almost completely white. Hispanics make up the next largest percent of the population. Also the median age in Iowa I feel is like 60. Obviously an exaggeration, but not far from the truth.

  • 14. Ronnie  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Given all that was said in this blog thread. NOM is completely wasting their time & valuable money that as it has been said before can be used to feed & cloth the homeless, help relief efforts of all the Natural disasters that have hit, & help find cures for diseases.

    Are NOMers Christians? NO! Humans? Definitely NOT! Loving? NOT in the least. Compassionate? Since their drivel brings out sociopaths (i.e Lynching Larry) who clearly support them, that answer would be a resounding F@#K NO!!! Empathetic? Since that would require a person to have a heart & soul in which Brian Brown, Maggie G, Louis, every single one of their speakers & pretty much every single one of their sheeple have neither. I would stake my life on the answering being NO!


  • 15. Christoph  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Looks as if NOM attracts the older white bigots! And, why are they in this state anyway? My guess would be to stir up trouble! Get a life NOM!
    Can't they see that marriage equality obviously is working here??

  • 16. StraightForEquality  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:22 am


  • 17. Bob Barnes  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Let's be real, NOM can't even get FOX news to cover its faux beatings from the gays. But a video of a Mom goes viral when she fights homophobia by returning stuff to Target? CNN, ABC, CBS, the WaPo, NY Times, etc, etc.

    Yep, homophobia is now bad business. It's no longer about the elusive homosexual agenda, it's about middle America saying enough is enough. Let Brian and Maggie keep talking, their so call religious views are becoming more like the the preaching of a cult. Ask Ann Rice, cult-free after all these years.

    I feel bad for Brian Brown's children, imaging the teasing when other kids figure who their father is. I hope they come to denounce him at an early age, he's so jeopardized their future.

  • 18. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Thanks, Bob.

    You are right, homophobia (the fear kind) peaked in 2004 with the Bush campaign and has been on a decline ever since.

    It's not interesting. It makes folks feel a little bit mean. And no one wants to hear it anymore.

  • 19. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Bob Barnes, Oh I wouldn't worry about Brian Brown's children their are probably either being home schooled or else enrolled in Catholic schools.

  • 20. Matthew  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:30 am

    But but…now isn't the time to radically experiment with marriage. Oh, wait. It's already been legal for 5 years in mass? Lowest divorce rate in the country…? But, but the preacher says god hates teh gayz!

    Everybody knows Leviticus condemns homo-sex. Huh? What's that about temple prostitution? Sure I eat pork and shrimp. That stuff is NOM
    NOM. How do you like my nice trimmed beard? I had to get a haircut when I bought all these new
    poly-cotton blend shirts. Oh Leviticus says all that stuff is an abomination too? Well I'm sure god didn't mean that part.

    I mean it's not like the bible was ever translated by anyone who wasn't completely fluent in ancient Aramaic.

  • 21. Mackenzie  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Or that Jesus the Christ told his people that Leviticus was the religious code for the Jewish faith and that they were not part of christian moral law. But it is more effective to just ignore these things! LOL

  • 22. Marlene  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    When I come across those arguments in my guest lectures, I ask them some interesting questions.

    If a female student says she's for "traditional marriage", I ask her how much her dowry is, or whether or not she's already betrothed to a guy her father picked out.

    I also say to use a book written in the Bronze Age and attempt to force the mores and traditions in it on the 21st century is akin to using a science book written in the '20s and claim that supersonic flight is impossible and space flight is the stuff of fantasy!

  • 23. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:36 am

    First Ronnie, you crack me up! I love that you always say what's on my mind.
    Second I know I've brought this up before,so please forgive me, but Im still confused. I have posted many times and have done so without subscribing (I think).
    I have subscribed to this feed but fail to understand why or why I see people commenting that they have subscribed. I dont understand the purpose of "Subscribing". Again please forgive my ignorance and your patients with it.
    Love Tim…

  • 24. Rubbsdecvik  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Subscribing to follow-up comments on each blog post gives you an email for every comment posted on that blog post. Subscribe by email will email you each new post, but not comments. The people commenting "subscribing" are just commenting so they can subscribe to comments.


  • 25. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Thank You Pat, but am I not subscribing to comments when I click on the "notify me of follow-up comments via email" box?
    Forget it I think I just got it. I just answered my own question. It would be silly to do that without leaving some sort of comment ie "subscribing". I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, LOL.

  • 26. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Point is, you CAN'T do it without leaving a comment. So, we often just comment that we're subscribing.

  • 27. Alan E.  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I think many of use just post a comment to subscribe before we even read the article.

  • 28. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Sorry, I still don't understand the subscribing bit… I just come here when I can and read all/most of the posts. (?)

    I guess I do miss all preivous old topics new posts, but it would be overwhelming for me to try to read all those too!

  • 29. Michelle Evans  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Obviously I want to see marriage equality throughout our country, and around the planet, but I have to admit to a personal spot of–pardon my French–"screw you" specifically to the anti-marriage people in Iowa.

    Many years ago when I transitioned (and thus created a same gender marriage here in California prior to the Supreme Court decision in May 2008 that allowed others to do so, too), my wife and I had a couple of friends that happened to have moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We had known this couple for a very long time (about 25 years) and we considered them as right up there with the best of our friends.

    However, when I transitioned, even though they were initially accepting, days later they turned on us (after speaking with their church, of course). And I mean they didn't just reject me, they turned nasty–horrifyingly nasty! Even to the point of accusing me of "murdering" my former male facade, and to threaten to come and kidnap Cherie away from my despicable and evil influence (because, according to them, she would never submit to something like this willingly!).

    Later, when it was announced that same gender marriage equality had come to Iowa, Cherie and I were both extremely happy at the coincidence that these "friends" would now have to live in a state where other loving and committed couples would be immune from their hatred.

    We've always hoped that maybe they would see this happening in their state as a sign from god that maybe they were wrong, but we doubt they will ever wake up enough to even consider that idea. Too bad.

  • 30. Marlene  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    It was their loss Michelle! To end a friendship because a "church" told them to isn't much of a church at all!

    This is one of the many reasons why I don't get into that sort of thing. I have many friends who're deeply Christian, and those are the best kind!

    In fact there are three churches who immediately come to mind who've become allies in our fight for non-discrimination here in Bowling Green: Lutheran, Unitarian, and Presbyterian!

    The latter has been picketed by "christians" from a group called "Cops for Christ", and during our canvassing, one person denounced our Presby liason, calling her "nuts" for backing the ordinances…

  • 31. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Give 'em he##, Iowa.


  • 32. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Whew. You'll all be pleased to know… subscribing is no longer a twelve step program.

  • 33. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:09 am



  • 34. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Sagesee, my thoughts exactly. However since it is another off site counter protest prolly it is going to be more like, "Give them nice Iowa" LOL

  • 35. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

    @ Straight Grandmother. I just wanted to see a good turnout of couples and families. Any message they choose to send is ok with me. In Iowa, to get a DOMA amendment on the ballot is a long, convoluted process, and the people and the legislators have no interest in it. NOM is dreaming in technicolour and plaid if they think they have a chance in Iowa. If California had the same process, there would never have been a Prop 8.

  • 36. Ann S.  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Sagesse, that is so true. The California legislature passed marriage equality twice, only to have it vetoed. They would never have approved a DOMA amendment.

  • 37. Marlene  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    The NOMbies don't dream in color, Sagesse… they dream in stark black and white — no shades of gray.

  • 38. adambink  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Hey everyone, several updates posted above, the latest being a dispatch from the One Iowa rally.

  • 39. Bob Barnes  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:22 am

    There's about 300 of them, but it's hard to count people when they're not spaced out by lawn chairs.

  • 40. Mackenzie  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:23 am

    the good 'ol gays of Iowa showed NOM up! Even I am a little surprised our side had such a strong turnout!

  • 41. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Very nice!! But I still think these events should be held @ the NOM rally. Brian and his sheep dont crash our events. They need to see that the number of pro equality people out number the pro ignorance.

  • 42. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Me too Tim, me too… Look them in the whites of their eyes is what I say. Basically NOM successfully got thier message out again. I do not get these off site counter protests at all, not at all. March down the streets of your city chant and shout, drown out NOM.

    With that being said I still want to sincerely thank each and every person in the over 300 (add in the 43 people who did counter protest at the NOM site and it is over 300) who came out today to stand proud for Equality. Thank you very much.

  • 43. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I REALLY think the party's and picnics should be put on hold untill the ruling from Mr Walker!
    Until then yes Straight Grandmother, it should be in their face! (respectfully of course) But two miles away! c-mon We will not win this battle if we stand in the background!
    I really wish NOM was coming to Ca.

  • 44. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Being at the NOM site, or off site, a wondeful sense of comradary (SP?) is gained, and taken away ith you. Tis' of gtreat value at the personal level and for the cause.

  • 45. adambink  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Another update posted with some really nice photos I have of the One Iowa rally.

  • 46. Alan E.  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Arisha, I can't wait to see the new video. As you have seen before, we will give our honest opinion, but I hope you know that we criticize so you can do better the next time. It's all a learning process (all of life is that way it seems). Go Iowa!

  • 47. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Photo-Jen Harvey and Chris Harper Patterson with their child

    Beautiful looking baby

  • 48. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Adam, I kind of like the old headlines better #FAILNOM or however that was written, I like to see the headline that says NOM Failed again in Iowa. Basically I like a meaner towards NOM headline 🙂

  • 49. Alan E.  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Just for the NOMers:

  • 50. Alan E.  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Well it looks like we can't use IMG tag with HTML. Here is the link that describes the victimization that NOM is trying to portray:

  • 51. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Spot on.

  • 52. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:31 am

    That's eloquent. NOM are such whiners.

  • 53. Steve  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I like the kid on the right. It's like he is thinking "I don't like what my parents are telling me and forcing me to do"

  • 54. StraightForEquality  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I LOVE it!

  • 55. Felyx  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Terrifying how accurate it is! We ought to blow this up and use it for protest signs!


  • 56. Marlene  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I've come across it a couple of weeks ago… posting it tomorrow at our ONE Bowling Green HQ!

  • 57. Bob Barnes  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

    From NOM's

    "Danny Carroll at the Iowa Capitol: “Let us be faithful, and let us be steadfast in that faith.”
    Speaking on a bright, sunny afternoon in Des Moines, Danny Carroll, Chairman of the Iowa Family Policy Center Action, reminded the crowd how the state supreme court had forced same-sex marriage on the people of Iowa, despite widespread objection"

    Pretty much describes Loving v VA, what's your point, Danny Carroll?

  • 58. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

    They're just not understanding the concept of Majority Rule/MINORITY RIGHTS.

  • 59. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Linda, who are you refering to in this post as 'they're just not understanding the concept" ?

  • 60. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Sorry Bob!

    What I should have said is the NOM folks don't seem to understand that American Democracy requires two things–majority rule (which is why the NOMers want a vote!) AND Minority Rights (which is what they seem to not understand).

    My point is that they don't seem to be willing to allow a minority group to have rights that their majority disagrees with.

  • 61. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:19 am

    thanks for clarifying Linda, you're wanting to engage the religious right to understand minority rights, leaving out the religious aspect of where they are coming from.

    you may have a point there, just stop talking with NOM, and wait for the courts to rule.

  • 62. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 7:59 am

    There was media coverage at NOM's event; was there media coverage at ours?

    I understand the desire to have a separate rally; but the folks at the NOM event don't know about it. Could 'our' people congregate near the NOM event, and then march to a different location for the rally?

  • 63. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Linda, the more effective method is to organize your counter protest off site neaby and then march in unison in force into the NOM rally and stay there the whole time. It helps to have a drummer during the march.

  • 64. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:13 am

    That'll do!

  • 65. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:16 am

    yes that's the question? where can we find main stream media coveragte of any of today's events, anyone know

  • 66. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:09 am

    In another thread someone posted, wait it was kathleen, posted a link to a good article from a Reverand in Atlanta. At the end of the article he said he was going to SHOUT at the NOM rally. Then I read here maybe the same topic or a different thread where in Atlanta they were going to have a silent prayer and sing Amazing Grace and turn thier back on the NOM attendees.


    But couldn't we bring this back to what it is, a Civil Rights movment, not a religious movement which is what NOM backers and attendees are. It is a Civil Rights issue. Instead of Amazing Grace how about singing "This Land is your Land, this land is my land" and instead of a silent prayer how about loud Civil Rights chanting?

  • 67. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:16 am

    "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
    that save a wretch like me.
    I once was lost but now I'm found
    was blind but now I see."

    Yeah, I'm not seein' the connection, here.

    I agree…can we please leave religion out of a civil rights issue? Religious expression is not representative of our entire community, and is not the basis of our movement.

  • 68. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:28 am

    okay, that's just too much of an open invitation for me to put my foot in my mouth again.

    still can't decide civil rights, or religious movement, how about civil rights movement against the religious right, our only opponent is misguided religion, the two are tangled so tightly, this civil rights issue only exists because of religion, how can we leave it out?

    also we've decided it's up to individual States to decide the approach they take, if the folks want to sing Amazing Grace, have at er!! but loudly please.

  • 69. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Since their argument is so heavily religious, it is valid to point out, on behalf of those who are religious and support marriage equality, that NOM and their speaker's bureau don't own Christianity, that there are religious denominations that affirm marriage equality. It may not be the main point, but it's a point.

  • 70. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:48 am

    For me, personally, I get uncomfortable when I see some of our community using scripture to validate us; using scripture to give us 'permission' to be who we are. That is in direct conflict with my core beliefs.

    If some of our religious community members wish to point out that their God does not condemn them, that's certainly appropriate. But I would really prefer that we not use religion to justify ourselves.

  • 71. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Linda, think of it as making the point that 'your (NOM's) freedom of religion doesn't trump my freedom of religion (if I have one).' It's not an argument based on 'the bible says it's so'. It's an argument based on 'not all religions agree with you, NOM, and we have as much right to their beliefs as you do'. Doesn't change all the civil rights arguments that matter.

  • 72. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:41 am

    If Georgia wants to sing, then sing!

    But when you say, "this civil rights issue only exists because of religion, how can we leave it out?"

    Well….that's precisely my point. Since religion has no place in determining civil rights, it's not supposed to be included in the first place. By including religion in our argument, we are giving validity to their use of it in theirs.

    I say, take religion out of the argument, and see what's left!

  • 73. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

    @Linda, okay interesting way to look at it, but then why would you want to have the counter protest visible to NOM?

    got suggestions for how to take religion out of the argument?

  • 74. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Oh, well I just wanted the NOM attendees to know that they weren't the only ones rallying. 🙂

    Leaving religion out? Well, I guess I would just not include it! I would just step back and let that argument drop to the floor, and refuse to pick it up, so to speak.

    If I did pick it up, it would just be to point out it's inappropriateness, and then I would toss it aside.

    But that's just me. 🙂

  • 75. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:02 am

    But Linda, many gay supporters do so because they believe that equality is a moral imperative. They support us not in spite of their religion but because of it.

    And those voices bring a very important counterbalance to NOM's arrogant assumption that discrimination and bias are holy and right.

  • 76. Anonygrl  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:09 am


    The difficulty with using religion as an argument in this fight is that it justifies NOM's use of religion and makes it a valid point in the debate.

    This is a civil rights issue, and religion is NOT a valid point in the debate. LAW is a valid point. And I think we do need to be careful not to elevate their arguments by acknowledging them.

    That being said, religion is important to people on both sides. There are religious folk on the Equality side who do not like what NOM is representing their religion to be. Certainly that is something that deserves addressing, which makes leaving religion out a difficult thing to do.

    I don't know the best answer, it is a very tricky line to walk.

  • 77. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:35 am


    You are – in my opinion – mistaken. No civil rights movement has ever been waged without moral imperative. From abolition to suffrage to the 60's civil rights movement, change has come because it is morally right.

    That is our strongest claim: It is morally offensive to treat others in a way that you do not want to be treated.

    If there is no moral imperative, then we rely solely on a piece of parchment. And if that parchment is not based on a sense of moral rightness, then WHY should people be treated equally. WHY shouldn't we just toss that out and treat unpopular minorities with disdain.

    Our cause is wrapped up entirely in "it's the right thing to do". Let's not silence the voices who lend credibility to our cause.

  • 78. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Can you clarify what you just wrote to anonygrl; because as I am understanding it, it seems that you are suggesting that morals are the exclusive property of the religious. No one said anything about taking morality out of the debate.

    Please elaborate.

  • 79. Anonygrl  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:05 am


    I am moral. I know what is the right thing to do. I am not religious, nor do I need to be to BE moral.

    I am certain you didn't mean to imply that there are no morals without religion, because that is very specific argument used by the religious right AGAINST us (and so many others).

    That piece of paper you dismiss out of hand is what makes this fight worth having. That piece of paper is the foundation on which equality is built in this country. While "do the right thing" is an admirable way to put it, the truth of the matter is that the law is absolutely our friend in this fight. Too often morality and majority are conjoined by those wishing to find ways to restrict rights, and that is when things like Prop 8 happen, a vote by the majority to restrict the rights of the minority. Fortunately our system of laws can, and does, correct for this by the very means being used in California today, a court case that rules on law, not popularity.

    I do not, in any way, mean to dismiss your feelings, and that of others, who find their strength in religious morality. That you can look at these issues in that light, shine the light into those dark corners, and use it to show how people who are claiming to love but are fighting to oppress out of fear are so wrong is wonderful, and I commend you.

    But what will win the day in the legal part of the battle is law. And we can't let religion, on EITHER side, cloud that issue. It is no more correct for us to push legislation for religious reasons than it is for NOM to do so, and we have to be careful about that. That is all I am saying.

  • 80. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Actually, anonygrl, just a technicality: you are ethical not moral. Morality has an inherent religious association. It is a term that ties a code of ethics with "what God wants."

    And in the United States in 2010, over 90% of people believe that there is a God (or higher power). They may not be religious, but they are influenced by arguments that appeal to morality.

    "God wants this" is a very effective message. Even more so when folks don't have a dog in the fight. For people who are not particularly tied to the issue – they don't have close gay friends or relatives, for example – they can be swayed by the "God wants" argument and they just assume that the religious folk speak for what God wants.

    We may not LIKE that they can be swayed, but it is, nevertheless, true.

    So it is extremely important that the "God wants" argument not be left unchallenged. It must be met with, "No, God doesn't want that, He wants the opposite."

    Once there are two conflicting "morally correct" positions that "God wants" then we are free to appeal to liberty and equality. Fortunately, more churches are going public with support for our community.

    So the moral authority of NOM is being challenged. I very much hope that we don't silence the voices who are challenging them.

  • 81. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:34 am

    re: the definition of 'moral'

    I'm not seeing the religious requirement for morality, here.


    You had to know I would look it up, right? 🙂

  • 82. JonT  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Heh, Linda – I was just about to post that very exact same link regarding the definition of 'moral'.

    Being moral does not require a religious belief.

    FWIW, I'm not religious, but I believe myself to be moral. And ethical.

    And basically an all around nice guy. 🙂

  • 83. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

    LOL, of course you did.

    And I spoke off the cuff. Actually in some situations morality and ethics are interchangeable. But in common usage – especially around politics – "moral" has religious connotations and that's kinda what I was speaking to.

    But ok, anonygrl can happily be moral as well as ethical.

    My point about needing "god wants" voices to be on our side as well still holds though, don't you think?

  • 84. StraightForEquality  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I am another of those who feel uncomfortable with using religion in these rallies. In particular, I agree with the comments of anonygrl in this regard.

  • 85. Anonygrl  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm


    Thank you. You can be ethical and moral too. 🙂

    Yes, it is good to have those voices in the mix, certainly. My only concern was that religion is not the way to win this legal fight, and so I try to keep the lines clear. When someone comes at me with Leviticus, my response is along the lines of "That argument would mean something if I was of your faith. I am not; the government of this country is not. What else have you got?"

    I am the daughter of a minister (a VERY ethical and moral man who believed quite strongly in same sex marriage, and a was very good theologian to boot). As such, I KNOW the religious side of this argument inside and out, but my choice is not to stoop to that level, merely to put it in its place, which is "interesting side note, not relevant, what else have you got?" I've done the religious argument to death, and all it gets me is headaches, so I don't do it anymore.

    I'll leave that to you and others, and I will try to keep moving forward on the "this is the law" side of things, ok?

    But I will sing "This Land is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome" with you. And a rousing chorus of "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" if need be. 🙂

  • 86. Ann S.  |  August 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    How about a rousing chorus of "I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog"? I'm sure we could change up the words for some of the choruses, too.

  • 87. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

    @ Timothy Kinaid

    Part of the reason I want to do it is the visual. They have so many collars and cassocks at their podium. NOM's audience isn't known for it's critical thinking, but to see a clerical collar standing with the marriage equality side should get their attention, not matter what is said or sung.

    I feel all dirty and NOM-like…. playing PR message games. But if it works….

  • 88. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

    It's not just PR. It's correcting a false image.

    NOM likes to pretend that
    person of faith = opposed to equality
    and that just isn't true.

    NOM's dirty little secret is how many churches and synagogues opposed Proposition 8. Even churches whose national affiliation won't let them conduct religious marriage in their church publicly opposed banning civil marriage.

    I think our side made a MAJOR mistake by being hesitant to put people on TV in clerical collar saying, "My church doesn't have to conduct any marriage we don't want to, but we aren't trying to tell the justice of the peace what to do."

    Too many people who don't ever go to church got confused about the God thing and thought that they had to ban marriage to protect the good Christians.

    They continuously run a campaign of lies and deceit. It's not dirty to set the record straight.

  • 89. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Or a rabbi in full vestments with yarmulke and tallis?

  • 90. Sagesse  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Of course, Richard. I should have been more inclusive in my metaphor :).

  • 91. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I thought you were being inclusive. After all, you have always been inclusive in your references to religion, and when you said clerical collars and cassocks, that actually includes Jewish rabbis because the basic designs of the cassocks worn by RC priests are derived from the robes of the Levitical preisthood of the Jews. So I threw that out there to see if anyone else would catch what was obvious to you and to me, that BB does not represent all faith systems anymore than he represents all Christians.

  • 92. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:02 pm


    that would be a WONDERFUL image. For all of NOM's "oh yeah, Orthodox Jews agree with us", they have had nothing but a string of Christian ministers.

    The one time that Orthodox Jews showed up with some banners, they were kept mostly out of sight. I would love to see a visible Jewish presence standing for our community.

    BTW (and off subject) did you see the statement that a collection of Orthodox Rabbis issued this week? They may not be with us on marriage issues, but it was a very good statement about inclusion.

  • 93. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    @ Timothy Kinkaid. Yes, I saw that, and I would like to know if you could send me a pdf or other type of file that I could download and print of that. It is something BZ would sign in a heartbeat, since he is a Lubavitcher hasidic rabbi.
    You can email me at to send that.

  • 94. Victoria  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Although this link is only for civil unions and thus not entirely relevant here, I think it would be awesome for each state to compile lists like this for the religious entities in support of marriage equality.

  • 95. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:31 am


  • 96. Mark M  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

    NOMbies feed off the fear and ignorance of their followers

  • 97. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:15 am


  • 98. Felyx  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I see yet another dead on protest sign!! – Felyx

  • 99. Mark M  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Oh why not…….

  • 100. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Bob, I don't think we want to go down that religious road. The other side has tangled up religion and forcing their religion into civil law, majority rule. Especially because it is religious communities who are behind the fear mongering that should be a bright red stop sing for us to not go down that road.

    Now if a group of counter protesters spontaneously breaks out in a hymn, more power to them, they are entitled to protest however they want. But I don't think it is wise, and I especially don't think it is wise of the leadership of a counter protest to sponsor or lead hymn singing.

    You are correct that the consensus here is that we respect each states right to organize their protests however they see fit. I didn't even open my trap when Annapolis Maryland organized a post card drive and a phone bank to drum up donations for their organization. I think that counter protest also included a picnic in the park with corn hole. I kept my opinions to myself out of respect.

    However bringing religious hymn singing into a counter protest does cross the line IMHO and thus I have a hard time upholding that committment to respecting the locals to do what they feel is right in their community. I don't think it is the end of the world or anything, but I think it is worth mentioning in passing.

  • 101. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Yes, yes, we get it. You don't think religion has any part in protest.

    Which means, of course, you object to We Shall Overcome and Amazing Grace being a HUGE part of the African-American civil rights movement. And you want to toss out MLK's speeches and writings.

  • 102. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Timothy Kincaid, there is no denying history. I would not deny true historical facts from that struggle for equal rights. I looked up the lyrics to We Shall Overcome and there is not anything religious in the lyrics.

  • 103. Michael  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    As a Christian gay man who loves the Lord, I think including pro-equality people of faith is VERY important in order to counter the perception that all Christians approve of and support the counterfeit "religious belief" of homophobia.

  • 104. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:33 am

    And for those of us of other religious beliefs who do not support the abuse of religion to support oppression of any kind, we should also be there–Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan–whatever your beliefs, if you refuse to support the abuse and misuse of religion to oppress people, show up!

  • 105. Sarah  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I agree, Michael. Not only is it important to show people that those of various religions are pro-equality, but to show other gay people who may be struggling in the closet that they do not have to give up their beliefs to be true to themselves. When the perception is that the [Chrisitan/Jewish/Muslim/etc] herd is against gay equality, that makes it so much hard for thinking people to go against it if they feel otherwise. We need to help ALL people realize that they, too, can be part of this movement and that the other side does not "own" God.

  • 106. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:11 am

    @Straight Grandmother, but weren't you the one cheering Rev. Turner, for his comments about meeting NOM shouting loudly, so really what you're saying is you welcome the religious approach if it's done your way.

    @Linda, we're all part of this community, it's called diversity, some of us identify as Christians, and those affirming Christians (allies) like rev Turner, may have some special insight into the religious perspecitve that the rest of us don't.

    I'm sorry that religion has impacted you in such a negative way.

  • 107. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I am uncomfortable even debating this issue, honestly. As you say, we are a diverse community.

    I think Anonygrl expressed things very well in her post up a few comments.

    I see validity in hearing our religious community members expressing their faith. It makes me nervous when we start crossing over to using tenets of various faiths as 'proofs' that we have the right to exist, or to have our civil rights.

    But again, as I have stated frequently, this is a personal issue for me; and, in the grand scheme of things, a minor issue at that.

    I apologize for making it bigger than it is.

  • 108. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    @Linda, please accept my apology in return for yours, it's an ugly mess we're in, and we surely are in it together, so as uncomfortable as it is we can't stop the dialog.

    for the time being I would just like to say this, my views and involvement from a Christian perspective, in no way trump your views, and in fact my aim personally is to have civil rights trump religion, that is the goal, no matter how muich I rant on about religion, my goal is the same as yours, to put religion back where it belongs, I think for myself personally, I feel some onous for having not engaged sooner, not standing up at a younger age, I am in that way responsible for letting religion out of the cage, so I'm trying all the harder to put it back, so it stops bothering people.
    I am one of those who actually bought into the fear they peddled, sorry bout that.

  • 109. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

    @9Timothy Kincaid | August 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm
    To me… the appropriate hymn is the one that is most effective. Personally, since NOM is predominantly led by Catholics, I’d get some amazing tenors to belt our Ave Maria (no, I’m not Catholic).

    Holy cow you are even more radical than me!!! I think NOM is Mormons and Catholics, they are the money tree. So your hymn singing is basically counter hymn singing. Hmmm I hadn't thought of that.

    @ Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan) | August 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm -thanks for the information about Amazing Grace, I never knew that history before.

    Doesn't anybody but me like, This Land is Your Land This Land is My Land?

  • 110. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

    @Straight Grandmother, yes, that's it, it's counter hymn singing, cool eh!!! it brings us joy in a way that pisses them off, we're not trying to evangalize the Rainbow Tribe, that is an impossibility inherant in our uniqueness, as seen by the outburst of objection.

  • 111. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:46 am

    The only reason I think most of us are staying away from that one is not that we don't like it, but the fact that NOM would say we stole the idea from them. Not that they will admit to stealing ideas from us, but then again…

  • 112. Ann S.  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Was NOM using This Land is Your Land? I love that song.

  • 113. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

    @Bob | August 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    You wrote "@Straight Grandmother, yes, that’s it, it’s counter hymn singing, cool eh!!! it brings us joy in a way that pisses them off, we’re not trying to evangalize the Rainbow Tribe, that is an impossibility inherant in our uniqueness, as seen by the outburst of objection."

    You guys! You and Timothy Kincade, how did you come up with this idea??? Counter hymn singing? In all these discussions I only ever thought we were talking about hymn singing that we would sing to strengthen ourselves and I didn't see how that was possible as we are a rainbow tribe as Bob mentions of many faiths.

    Never in a million years would I ever have come up with counter hymn singing. Okay I am kind of liking Ava Maria now 🙂 I am glad I asked the question to name specific hymns, that is what brought this out. That would really piss of Brian Brown, especially if we got some kick a** tennors. Did you ever hear Andre Bocelli sing Ave Maria? I'm not catholic but it does move me spiritually.

    Personally I like the idea but I think the subtltey might be lost on the rainbow tribe and could lead to a divsiness of faith in the tribe. It is kind of like saying, "NOM you don't own Ave Maria, we can have it also" It is almost to clever. But please after Ave Maria can we all please sing
    This Land Is Your Land
    This Land is Gay Land

  • 114. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Bob, I see what you are saying. I didn't get the idea that Rev Turner would be shouting religious affirmations is all. I thought he would be shouting Equality type positions.

    I didn't take is as "taking the religious approach" when I read the article. I took it as him giving us good background on our opponents religious take and his religious take on homosexuality. And from his religious point of view he was going to show up and protest. I thought it was a great point of view myself since I also am a Christian. However I have respect for those around me who are not Christians so I myself would not be joining in the hymn singing.

    Bob I know this is a crappy answer but it just doens't feel right to me to have counter protest leaders lead in hymn singing. It is rather like NOM supporters saying, "SSM just doesn't feel right to me." I know the weakness of my "doesn't feel right" argument here. Maybe I'll just step back and read what others have to say and try and be a little bit more open minded.

  • 115. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:44 am


    I think that the effectiveness of singing the hymn is considered secondary for some. I believe that their personal religious convictions (whether they be to a faith or to atheism) are more important than winning the image battle with NOM.

    Not only are they opposed to singing the hymn themselves, they don't want any organizers who may be Christian expressing their faith. I fear that heir personal beliefs about religion require that others be silent.

    I very much hope that we don't go down the "religion be silent and sit at the back our our movement" road. I don't want to have religion run our movement, but I don't want those of us who are people of faith to be excluded either. This is a gay movement, not a "gay people who agree with me" movement.

  • 116. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Yow, that sounded hostile.

    sorry if I offended anyone

  • 117. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

    There is also the fact that many of us who are of other faith systems, regardless of what those faith systems may be, disagree with the way NOM and others try to misuse and abuse religion and faith to oppress people. It was a Jew, for intance, who helped found the NAACP because of the injustice being done to our people of color.

  • 118. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Tim I think I just got it, thanks, and to Linda, and all of us , I get that , being uncomfortable to sing a religious song, sort of being forced into a situation where you would feel great resistance, in a situation like that it is not necessary to say the words, just make noise, bang a drum, make up your own words that you feel comfortable with,

    For example if a certain state chooses to sing Amazing Grace, it must have some signifcance for them, it doesn't have to for you or me, the shared experience is what's important,

    But know this is a very important point you raised Linda, and one we all must be aware of, certainly the people organizing the counter protests, want it to feel and be, inclusive, if they new anyone may stay away because of a song choice, they may be convinced to change it,

  • 119. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Yeah, just a little hostile LOL, glad you added a reply:) Remember when your parents taught you not to talk politics or religion at parties? Why didn't i remember that before I posted??? I am not suggesting anyone be silent Timothy. I guess it kind of boils down to which hyms to sing doesn't it? Which hymns are appropriate for the Jews, the Hindus, the Muslims and the christians, almost forgot the wicans and the athiests to sing together? I think We Shall Overcome is a good one, it basically does not have God in the words.

    If groups, say a group of people coming from a church that espouses Pro Equality want to break out in a hymn together I respect their right to do that, I just wouldn't join in myself. And if the Leadership of the counter protesters can come up with an inclusive hymn then let's all sing together. In my opinion I think it is more approrpriate to sing This land Is Your Land, but I am very agreeable to We Shall Overcome also. Maybe if you suggested specific hymns I could see your point of view more.

  • 120. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:09 am

    To me… the appropriate hymn is the one that is most effective. Personally, since NOM is predominantly led by Catholics, I'd get some amazing tenors to belt our Ave Maria (no, I'm not Catholic).

    If it was determined that a Hindu hymn would be most effective, then someone hand me the words. 🙂

  • 121. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I'm afraid I have miscommunicated; and for that I am truly sorry.

    It is definitely NOT my intention to silence those in our community who hold religious beliefs. I love the inclusivity of our community. I was simply concerned that we would buy into the mindset that in order to justify our civil rights, we had to have the sanctioning of religion.

    That's all.

    Again, I apologize if I managed to offend anyone. That is the last thing I would ever want to do; I value this community so much.

  • 122. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:12 am

    @ Bob–for many in the south, "Amazing Grace" has a resonance because of its connections with the slave trade. The man who wrote it, wrote it after he saw the light and left the slave trade. He sold everything pertaining to it, and used the money from that and this song to buy freedom for as many of those he had sold into slavery as he could find. He even paid the passage for those who wanted to return to their ancestral areas. That is probably why you hear it at so many events in the south.

  • 123. Anonygrl  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:20 am

    You are absolutely right, and we need to have these discussions, and keep reminding each other that we are traveling down this road together, even if we approached it from different paths.

    We won't all agree on everything, but that is ok too. And we are able to handle that, and find ways to make it work, which is what makes the US part of this whole thing so wonderful.

    I'm not religious, and I do need to be reminded occasionally that, simply because what I seem to be objecting to on the other side of the fence looks to be all religion all the time, it doesn't make RELIGION a bad thing, just some of its practitioners.

    So forgive me, if I get somewhat exuberant on this issue, and I apologize if I offended anyone, I most certainly do not mean to do so.

  • 124. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:20 am

    @ Straight Grandmother–One of my favorite songs about inclusivenes is NOT a hymn, but rather a song that I first heard Nanci Griffith do, then Bette Midler took to the top of the charts. It was written by Diane Warren (I believe that is her name), and here are the lyrics. It's called "From A Distance."

    From a distance, the earth is blue and green, and the snow-capped mountains white;
    From a distance, the oceans meet the stream, and the eagle takes to flight.
    From a distance, there is harmony and it echoes through the land.
    It's the voice of hope, it's the voice of peace, it's the voice of every man.

    From a distance, we all have enough, and there is no one who is in need;
    there are no guns, no bombs and no diseases, no hungry mouths to feed.
    From a distance, we are instruments marching in a common band,
    Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace, they're the songs of every man.

    G-d is watching us, G-d is watching us, G-d is watching us from a distance.

    From a distance, you look like my friend, even though we are at war;
    From a distance, I just can't comprehend what all the fighting's for.
    From a distance, there is harmony and it echoes through the land;
    It's the hope of hope, it's the song of peace, it's the heart of every man.

    That is a very uplifting song to me, especially since it talks about what all of us want–peace, hope, love, and solidarity.

  • 125. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:25 am

    @Richard, thanks for pointing that out, that's the way I feel about Amazing Grace, and it's connection as a freedom song, sometimes the obvious bears stating,

  • 126. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:28 am

    @ Linda–to me, the thing that really shows me how much you value this community here at P8TT and the NOM Tour Tracker is the fact that you feel able to share your views for discussion. It is only when we value a community that we are able to share in a forum within that community in the hopes of strengthening that community and ourselves. And by opening ourselves up to the community, we learn where we may have miscommunicated, and it is nothing to fear. When we miscommunicate and value a community enough to respond and elucidate upon our first statements, we are able to learn and teach, again as a community. Thank you, and I am so glad you are here with us.

  • 127. Mark M  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Sounded PERFECT to me Tim!!

  • 128. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:43 am

    @ Bob– Actually, it may not be obvious to everyone. I was actually in my 30's before I learned about how that song came about and what the money he received from it was used for. And then only because I found a book that covered the story behind a lot of the songs we are so used to here in the United States.

  • 129. Linda  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Okay, see if this works–

    For those in our community who have religious beliefs: We are entitled to our Civil Rights AND your religion defends that; not BECAUSE your religion defends that.

    Am I getting it, now?

    Just a bit about myself (because I know everyone is just dying to know!) I grew up in a very conservative Fundamental Christian home. I fully embraced those teachings; I even have a BA in Theology from ORU! I have been on missionary trips; I have worked in churches, the whole bit. And I've spent decades trying to redefine who I am so that I matched up with what I was being taught.

    Well, not any more.

    And yes, I am a bit overly sensitive to this issue at this time, because it is what I am going through with my parents…having to justify who I am by matching it up with their interpretation of scripture.

    So, again I apologize if I came across as a bit heavy-handed. I didn't mean to offend anyone.

    And, understanding the history of the song 'Amazing Grace' I can see that it has cultural/geographical significance; and I can understand why our team in Georgia would chose to use it.

    And, btw, I would never NOT attend a rally or counter-protest just because there was going to be a religious presence! Good grief! In fact, if you were to burst into the singing of a hymn I would probably sing along as a show of solidarity (assuming I knew the words; and if it's a hymn I probably do….to all the verses!)

  • 130. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

    @ Linda–I too grew up in what might be called a fundamentalist Christian household, at least where my adoptive mother was concerned. My adoptive "father" was an atheist, and he would twist the scriptures to get me to agree to whatever he wanted to do to me, mostly by quoting from Exodus and the writings attributed to Saul of Tarsus. I grew up watching Oral Roberts and his family on TV every Sunday. I spent many years trying to rearrange myself to match up with the misinterpretations I had been taught, and trying to run from who I really am. Later, I converted to Catholicism because they were the first ones who did not blame me for what "dad" had done while I was growing up. I was even a third degree Knight of Columbus. I would be willing to bet that BB is one also, possibly even a 4th degree, since he wants to bring patriotism and "the American Way" into this so often, while still ignoring the fact that the American Way is the way of full equality for ALL, not just those who agree with him.
    About a year and a half ago, I met a wonderful man, and for the second time in my life, I found a relationship that is worth fighting for. And my husband is a Lubavitcher rabbi. So I am Jewish in all but the ceremony to formalize it. We will be going to DC to get married, and then there is another rabbi here in NC who believes in marriage equality who has agreed to perform our chasunah. So we will have both the civil, legal ceremony and the religious one. While I do not believe that we are to cram our religion down one another's throats, I do feel that there is a place for those in the religious community who support us to make their presence known and their voices heard, so that those who disagree with BB, MG et al. know that they are not alone and that they are on the right side of justice. I for one have not been offended by your comments. Rather, I have actually been able to learn even more about my own faith and been able to strengthen it because of comments like yours that I have seen since coming to the P8TT in January.
    I would also like to reiterate that your ability to post the comments you have posted shows me exactly how much you do value this community and family that we have here at P8TT, because it is only due to the value you place on this community that you feel free to comment openly and show yourself for the lovely young lady you are. Glad to have you here, and hope you stick around for a long time. In fact, I am hoping to meet everyone from P8TT at some point, and that includes you.

  • 131. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Richard, congrats on your wedding.

    Linda, yes… and a bit more.

    I to was raised fundamentalist (my father's a pentecostal pastor) so I know where you are coming from. I understand the hesitancy. So I apologize if I've in any way made you uncomfortable

    And yes, our civil rights are owed to us irrespective of our religious rights. Absolutely.

    That goes without question.

    But it's also a religious issue. Christians should be deeply offended that NOM is breaking one of only two commandments given by Christ. (And Jews also know that the Golden Rule predates Jesus in Jewish teaching.) And to do it in the name of faith should be horrifying to people of faith.

    NOM's efforts are offensive for civil reasons. They are contradictory to everything our civil society stands for.

    But they are also offensive for religious reasons. And we do have allies who are allies because they take their faith seriously and think it abhorrent to God to treat gay people like lesser humans. Some of our greatest allies are Christian ministers and Jewish rabbis who feel they MUST support us out of religious commitment to justice and mercy.

    I recall in the Prop 8 campaign I read about a UCC church that didn't have any gay members but they did phone banking to oppose the initiative.

  • 132. Bolt  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Horray for Iowa, and it's overwhelming quantity of supporters for marriage equality! It's amazing to see traditional families standing up for marriage equality. They're living reflections of positive family values!

  • 133. AndrewPDX  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Make me think of the song from The Music Man (must be the stereotypical love of Broadway musicals):

    [youtube =]

    "You really ought to give Iowa
    Hawkeye Iowa
    Dubuque, Des
    Moines, Davenport, Marshalltown,
    Mason City, Keokuk, Ames,
    Clear Lake
    Ought to give Iowa a try!"


  • 134. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Great catch Andrew!!!!

    Anthony Ash: you've GOT to diversify your muisic taste!

    River City, Iowa would never tolerate NOM coming to their town… they have enough probllems to deal with:

  • 135. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Robert Preston and Brian Brown have the same tailor!

  • 136. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Don't give NOM any ideas. They've already got the "work up the crowd with fear" thing down. They might reach more than their little lawn chair crowd if they set their message to syncopated rhyme.

  • 137. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Kahy: "syncopated rhyme" LOL!!

  • 138. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I'm still laughing at your comment… picture those old farts leaping up and dancing in synchronized ryhthm!!! Funny, but so sad.

  • 139. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Is there anyway we can pool our contibutions and have a plane fly over the NOM site ? … with a banner that reads something like: "Today – Love Is Without Gender"…

    I have my CC ready.

  • 140. Michael  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

    When do we get to vote on the tax exempt status of shrill anti-gay advocacy groups such as NOM who are hiding behind the sham "religious belief" of homophobia? Let the people vote!

  • 141. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I vote NOW.

  • 142. Timothy Kincaid  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:03 am


    It wouldn't mean much.

    Contributions to NOM are not deductible on your tax return.

    And even if they were taxed like a for-profit company, you only pay taxes on your net income, not on what comes in the door. They would pay only a tiny amount, if anything at all.

  • 143. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

    “I’d rather be hated [by man] than be a stench in the nostrils of God Almighty.”

    Wow. That's Fred Phelps-level hatred.

  • 144. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:05 am

    and I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for what I'm not!!!!!!!

  • 145. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 1, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Since talk of Iowa reminds me of the Dar Williams song….

    [youtube =]

  • 146. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I enjoyed that video and music very much… THANX!

  • 147. Alan E.  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

    “I’d rather be hated [by man] than be a stench in the nostrils of God Almighty.”

    This is what we need to show NOM as. This is their true face. Brian may try to say that they are not the views of NOM, but they invited these people to speak behind the podium with the NOM logo, therefore they are endorsing the messages that the speakers posit.

    I can't wait for Arisha's video to see what questions were posed this time around.

  • 148. Roger  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I understand know why people are asking Brown and co whether they support the views expressed by people like Caroll, Scott and the various preacher-men at their rallies.

    The fact that they invite these people to speak on their behalf from, quite literally, the NOM pulpit is sufficient evidence that NOM agrees with and supports their opinions. Politely asking them if that is not so is merely giving them the opportunity to frame the debate.

    Same applies to Lynching Larry and his ilk. Larry may not have been an official guest speaker, but he still responded to their general invitation to attend and make his views known, and the onus on them is to show their disagreement.

  • 149. Roger  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    My first sentence should have read "I can'tunderstand why…".

    My apologies: the phone rang while I was editing my post.

  • 150. Dpeck  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I've been thinking a lot about this. Rather than getting into specific ideas for how to conduct a counter demonstration (because the 'right' way to do it may indeed vary from one location to the next depending on the specifics of each location), I think it may be more productive if folks who may be planning these events could get some clarity and consensus on the GOALS we all hope to achieve with these events.

    For starters, can we agree that the message ought to be a clear, simple message – that marriage equality is a civil right, denying this to LGBTs is discrimination, people are being hurt by this, and nobody is hurt when we have marriage equality. Of course there is room for creativity and variation but it would be good if we can agree that we should focus our message and stick to our message. This should be reflected in our signs, our chants, our interviews with the press and NOM, and our behavior in general. If NOM can stay on message, SO CAN WE.

    Next, think about what is the best way to leverage NOM's tour to get our message to the public and the press at each location. Not what will be the most fun, or what will feel the most cathartic. Ask yourself – Will the press be at the NOM event? If it's not a sure thing, is the press more likely to show up at all if we counter-demonstrate at NOM's event? Or, is there a way we can be sure we'll have better press coverage if we hold a separate rally at another location? Aside from NOM's die-hard supporters, will there be members of the general public seeing NOMs event (is it in a high-traffic public space)? If so, what's the best way to get our message to THEM?

    The NOM tour is a great opportunity for us to get our message out. Let's make the best of it. Stay on message and think about the best way to get the most good press and PR out of each event.

  • 151. Mark M  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Excellent points Dpeck! I think it's very important to not lose sight of the main message/goal here.
    With so much hatred being thrown at us by NOM and their supporters it's easy to get caught up in it all.
    There are so many issues and battles yet to fight…this one is about marriage equality

  • 152. StraightForEquality  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Dpeck, that sounds good to me!

  • 153. Bob  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

    ditto, what Dpeck said

  • 154. Straight Grandmother  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Bob you are not allowed to say ditto because that is a Rush Limbaugh reserved word, kidding Bob, kidding.

  • 155. Heidi Cullinan  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I was at the One Iowa rally today. (I'm actually pictured here, the "straight ally" sign with the cute kid boasting equality is the future–that's my daughter.) I wanted to voice my support for One Iowa's choice to have the rally not at the location of NOM's rally for two reasons. One, it's really a very Iowa thing to do. I don't mind other states making different choices, but I liked that we kept things without a big confrontation. No, I don't agree with NOM and I don't like them here, but I'd rather be this kind of example. Just my choice.

    But more importantly, for us–this is a victory we've already achieved. It felt like a more offense move than defensive. Full of grace and aplomb. They had a wake and a hatefest. We had a party. We had the high ground, and they couldn't touch us.

    We did have press at ours too. I think it was deliberately after so the press could be encouraged to attend both.

    One Iowa is an excellent organization. We're having rallies all week and not just in places where NOM is preaching hate. So proud of my state.

  • 156. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Heidi, you rock!

  • 157. Heidi Cullinan  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Thanks, Richard! 🙂

    Though we've realized they mistook Kyl (man beside me) as my husband. No, Kyl doesn't play for my team. And he's available! Boys! Snap him up! He's fabulous!

  • 158. JonT  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:40 am

    @Heidi: 'They had a wake and a hatefest. We had a party. '

    Heh, what an excellent perspective! 🙂

  • 159. Lar  |  August 2, 2010 at 3:33 am

    From Wiki: A wake is a ceremony associated with death. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased, with the body present; however, modern wakes are often performed at a funeral home.

  • 160. JonT  |  August 2, 2010 at 6:54 am

    @Lar: '…From Wiki: A wake is a ceremony associated with death…'


    In this case, the 'death' was the death of marriage inequality. The 'house' of the deceased is the state of Iowa…


  • 161. Dpeck  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Hi Heidi,

    So glad you posted! Ah, this is just the point I was trying to make. You see, before I recently 'took a step back' to really think about this, I would have been posting 'no no no! everyone MUST counter demonstrate in this specific way!". But you point out that Iowa is indeed different from some of the other tour stops in some ways. And those of us who are not there may not be in a position to know exactly how each event should be planned. Very glad to hear there was press at the One Iowa event. Post a link if you can, OK?

    As long as all of us are getting our message out there the best way we can in each different situation, we're doing it right.

  • 162. Heidi Cullinan  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:50 am

    You will probably see a lot of news chronicled here: They've been adding them as they come in. I'd look for some posted after our 10PM news as well. The Register doesn't even have a story yet. I suspect a lot more will come tomorrow.

    Though it can't be stressed enough what a low issue a repealing amendment is here. Most people truly just want to move on.

  • 163. Heidi Cullinan  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Oh, and as for the "Iowa way" of protesting: I'm sure some Iowans disagree with me, but the thing I think of is that truly, I was brought up to believe that disagreements should be made with respect. Overall a loud shouting match would be considered more rude than anything anybody else had to say. And really, when we've had rallies at the same time at the statehouse, we either nod politely and say nothing or simply don't make eye contact.

    The flip side of this is that it's this same tolerance that led us to raise judges who could view Lambda Legal's case and see no other alternative but unanimous support of equality.

  • 164. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for being there and coming here to let us know what it was like 'on the ground.' And thank you for helping to instilling values of equality and inclusion in the next generation. <3

  • 165. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Heidi, Thank You for your thoughts here… a very gracious espression.

    We HAVE TO help our brothers and sisters in other states to have the same recognition of fairness that we are all entitled to.

    IOWA presented a great venue for all of us.

  • 166. AndrewPDX  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    THANK YOU! Thanks for standing up to be counted as one of our allies in fairness and equality!


  • 167. Zachary  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I NEED this Brian Brown interview, guys!

  • 168. Dave in Maine  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Darn-I've been antiquing all day…only subscribing now!!!

    What'd I miss?!?!?


  • 169. Dpeck  |  August 1, 2010 at 11:50 am

    First things first – what did you find? : )

  • 170. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Can we say that it is religion what got us into the mess that we are in?

    John Lennon: Imagine no religion.

    I think we are unique…animus towards us is within and outside of the religious realm.

  • 171. paul  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I have a lot of opinions about what I'm seeing from NOM vs. the Equality side…but it's not what I'm thinking about right now.
    My heart is bursting with love and appreciation for each & every gay & lesbian person out there taking a stand today.
    I'm tucked away in a California Sierra foothill community and all I could think of is "beam me up Scotty"…get me to Iowa, New Hampshire, Minn. and wherever proud gay & lesbian people are taking a stand.
    I am so thankful to be gay, to feel the love, to be inclusive by my very nature, to be able to know my husband's love after 26 years together.
    I'm having an "ah-ha moment" and I'm making it stick !!!
    Whatever "GOD" is…she's loving us today !!!

  • 172. Heidi Cullinan  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Here's something not reported yet which I'm just realizing many of you wouldn't know: that woman in the maroon v-neck shirt in the third One Iowa rally photo is the governor's wife who came to give a speech and gave a beautiful and gracious one. Another speech was given by the Speaker of the Iowa House. I haven't heard anyone say that the GOP gubernatorial candidate was at the NOM rally.

    I can't say for sure that Culver (our gov) would have come, but he had a good excuse: seeing off National Guard troops from an entirely different part of the state.

  • 173. Dpeck  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Yeah, impressive! Well done, Iowa!

    BTW, I had no idea Iowa had such a lovely Capitol building. Also impressive.

  • 174. Heidi Cullinan  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    It's just as beautiful inside. When my daughter was younger, she used to wave to "her palace" whenever we went by.

  • 175. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Fantastic! And thanks for letting us know.

  • 176. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I did notice her and thought "there's a classy, inteligent looking woman" and wondered who she was!

    She looks so comfortable. sincere, and happy to be there.

    Now I know…Thanx again!

  • 177. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    "Chile senator to sponsor gay marriage bill"

  • 178. Ray in MA  |  August 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Wow. Thanx for the info… would have easily missed that!

  • 179. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    This is a few years old, but thought it was interesting in the context of the discussion that we've been having here:

  • 180. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Well, I guess Chris Hedges just shot NOM out of the water. I am going to find his book "American Fascists."

  • 181. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks, Kathleen.

  • 182. Kathleen  |  August 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    You're welcome. 🙂

  • 183. Box Turtle Bulletin &raqu&hellip  |  August 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    […] UPDATE TWO: One Iowa had a counter protest two miles down the road and an hour later where 298 people showed up to support marriage equality. (Tour Tracker) […]

  • 184. Christopher Mongeau  |  August 2, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I noticed that Louis had the above picture of the lovely couple with the sign "Together 15 years, Married 9 months, Thank you Iowa" on his blog, with the disclaimer "These people are not married."

    (Sorry to link his blog here-merely for illustrative purposes)

    Its clear that he (and he is probably not alone) will never be open to reasonable dialog. Its disheartening that there are many people who believe the same way and will never open their minds.

  • 185. One Iowa responds to NOM &hellip  |  August 2, 2010 at 7:03 am

    […] missed yesterday’s coverage of the dueling rallies in Des Moines, you can find it by clicking here […]

  • 186. NOM ally Louis Marinelli:&hellip  |  August 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    […] (hi, Louis!) has done it again. Here’s his post responding to the picture I posted yesterday of a couple married in Iowa (h/t Good as You) (bolding mine) We are going to Sioux City because we […]

  • 187. What NOM found in Iowa &l&hellip  |  August 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

    […] come out to outnumber NOM supporters nearly everywhere we go, and why the public in Iowa is, as I wrote yesterday, moving towards […]

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