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Will you thank Peter, Paul & Mary for telling NOM to stop using “This Land Is Your Land”?

NOM Exposed NOM Tour Tracker Right-wing Videos

by Andy Kelley
New Media Organizer, Courage Campaign Institute

If you hear a song being played at an event, it’s understandable to assume that the artist being featured supports the cause. After all, endorsements of musicians are common place within advocacy organizations, and a familiar voice helps lend legitimacy to a cause. To do so without permission would be to co-opt the groups name and to imply their endorsement of the event.

That’s why it was so shocking to Kathleen Perrin and many other participants in the Prop 8 Trial Tracker community when we first heard a Peter, Paul & Mary recording of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” in a video posted to the NOM Tour Tracker from NOM’s rally in Albany, NY. As Kathleen recounted on Friday in her front-page post (which includes video of the song being played at a NOM rally):

When I first heard this recording played in Albany, NY, I was stunned and deeply offended. Woody Guthrie and Peter, Paul & Mary are artists who have always unequivocally supported justice and equality for all.

I felt certain the surviving members of Peter, Paul & Mary would want to know of this grievous misuse of their recording, so I wrote to Peter Yarrow. In my correspondence, I provided a link to a video of the Albany rally and explained that their recording had been used at high volume to drown out the chants of “Equality” from the counter-demonstrators.

Mr. Yarrow responded, saying use of the song by NOM was “heartbreaking” and indicated he would be contacting NOM.

And Peter Yarrow did just that, sending a cease-and-desist letter to NOM. But Peter didn’t stop there, his letter went on to state “We strongly support the rights of all gays and lesbians to enjoy the rights and rituals of marriage that are enjoyed by their straight counterparts, and consider the abridgement of this right contrary to the sense of equal protection and fairness…” He went on to make an impassioned defense of equality for the gay and lesbian community.

His words are truly moving, not merely because of the force of passion with which they are spoken, but because of the powerful credence lent to those words by such a public and well known advocate as Peter, Paul & Mary. (A credence they refused to allow NOM to co-opt.)

We at Courage were so moved by their actions, and so inspired by the Prop 8 Trial Tracker/NOM Tour Tracker community that made this possible, that we decided to send Peter, Paul & Mary a “Thank You” card, which we launched on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend (and will be following up with an email action). The response from our community has been amazing so far and we want to keep the momentum going here on P8TT.

Click here to add your name to our card thanking Peter, Paul & Mary for taking a stand for marriage equality and read their letter to Brian Brown and NOM.

We’ll deliver your signature, along with thousands of other signatures, to Peter, Paul & Mary!

If you have thoughts on Peter, Paul & Mary’s courageous action, please share them in the comments as well.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine





  • 1. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Not only did I add my name to this card, I also found out about Operation Respect, thanks to Kathleen, and I have requested their DLAM packets because I have met a woman who is involved with the GSA in Wake County, NC, and I feel this will be a valuable resource for the GSA there and the one I hope to be able to start in Cumberland County. I also went to Peter Paul and Mary's FB page and posted my comments there. This has only raised my admiration for this fine trio, and also for everyone here at P8TT.

  • 2. fiona64  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Operation Respect is a beautiful, beautiful project. I turned on a couple of my teacher friends to the organization, and they started a trend in their schools of "no bullying" zones.

    I wish that more schools would sign on; the problem shows no signs of abating, and I don't think anyone here would say differently.


  • 3. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:01 am

    And one of the things I noticed when I ordered the DLAM set from them is that you do NOT have to be a teacher to order it. I have a contact with one of the GSA's here in NC, and have been invited to become part of it, since here they are not officially part of the school systems, and I will use what I learn from this group to help get GSA's going here in my county. That only increased my respect for everyone here, PP&M and Operation Respect.

  • 4. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:08 am

    OH BOY!!!! The PP&M talk isn't going to stop!

    Thank you Andy,
    from Kate the Folkie Foremother

  • 5. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Hey, didja save me that rockin' chair, woman??

  • 6. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

    It's still a-rocking in the wind, waiting for you right here beside me, Ann.

  • 7. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Be there in a sec, let me grab my knitting . . .

  • 8. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

    And trifocals; don't forget your trifocals. Eh?? EH?? Did you say something???

  • 9. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I used to knit a lot many years ago, and every so often I wonder if I'd still be any good at it.

  • 10. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Here, I brought you your hearing aid.

    Oh, wait, that's an earplug.

    Hang on a minute . . .

  • 11. Alan E.  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:33 am

    done. now back to work

  • 12. Dave T  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Just a quick plug for my favourite annual musical event – the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. If you ever find yourself in Vancouver in the middle of July, go!

    And lest you think this is unrelated to the subject of the blog, let me say that the festival has always been a wonderfully open & inclusive event – it has been many years since I went, but I was always thrilled to see so many LGBT couples who felt comfortable walking the grounds, holding hands.

  • 13. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Done, also posted on Twitter and FB.

    Thank you, PP&M!

  • 14. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Thanks to Peter, Paul & Mary!
    Thanks to Kathleen!
    Thanks to Michelle Evans!

  • 15. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Already done. It would be great to see a (running) count of signatures, if such a thing exists :).

  • 16. AndrewPDX  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Yeah.. I signed it yesterday, I think it was… a count would be neat!

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 17. Kathleen  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:40 am

    It's clear from the reaction around the web that this letter has really moved people. It's so wonderful to see all the outpouring of love and gratitude for P,P&M being expressed in so many places. I'm so glad to see these artists, who are so dear to the heart of this old hippie, being recognized again for their strong stance for social justice.

    In reading the comments at some of the websites carrying the story, there are numerous accounts of peoples' personal encounters with Peter Yarrow the reflect his humble, caring and generous spirit.

    On a personal note, the most gratifying post anywhere was finding that my son had sent out this tweet:

    oriontait: So proud of you, Mom (Kathleen Perrin): This Land Was Not Made For Homophobes 4:56 AM Aug 28th

    I know my sons are proud of me, but sure love it that he takes the time to tell the world of Twitter. 🙂 <3

  • 18. Kathleen  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Should proofread – we could do a drinking game: how many times does the word "so" appear in K's posts? Seems it's genetic, though apparently a trait that gets weaker when passed down (maybe it's just the constraints of twitter).

  • 19. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 7:46 am

    There's no quota on your use of the word "so".

    Thanks for sharing your son's tweet. He knows his mom rocks, and we know it, too!

  • 20. bJason  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:22 am

    We should all take a lesson from Kathleen and Michelle Evans (as if we needed another 🙂 )… EACH person does make a difference.

    Obviously, your son would be great! I'm thinking of fruit trees and proximity!

  • 21. bJason  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

    OK, here's part of why I don't post more often. Just reread my own post and caught "(as if we needed another 🙂 )" and am now filled with dread that I might offend someone by them thinking that I meant something bad by this. It is a personal problem that I have. I come by it honestly, though.

    By that, I mean that I have learned so much from these two wonderful ladies that they should be exempt from further edification duties.

    Even that doesn't sound right but I am spinning now.

  • 22. Kate  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

    It sounded fine to me, bJason, but I also enjoyed your "wait,wait!" follow-up post. You fit right in with the rest of us here who wish they had an edit button available….

  • 23. Kathleen  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Love you, Jason. Please post away. I've sure made plenty of my own barely comprehensible comments – you won't catch me being critical of a little ambiguity. 🙂 Hugs.

  • 24. bJason  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Lesbians may love Boies (and they should) but Jason loves the ladies who start with a K!

    Love and hugs right back atcha!

    A lovely place with fantastic people – how divine!

  • 25. Gregory in SLC  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hip Hip HOOOORRAAYYY! p.s. glad everyone is patient with typos and ramblings on this site!

    Love you all!

  • 26. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Oh my gosh, if people were not patient with typos, I would have been banned months ago. Not until it is actually submitted do I find the errors. Yep, an edit button would be nice.

    I shall continue to claim all typos are the responsibility of my cat who thinks the keyboard is his pillow when I'm using it.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 27. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Our poodle thinks the same thing. Then there are the cocker spaniel and the beagle who think they are supposed to get tangled in the cord and unplug the laptop when I am on it.

  • 28. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Warms my heart…

  • 29. Bolt  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:03 am


  • 30. bJason  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:26 am

    FYI to the webmaster –

    In the previous thread I accidentally made the world an Italic kind of place.


    I learned long ago to crow more about when I am wrong than when I am right.

  • 31. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I sent my THANK YOU…

    I"n MA, I have been married to for 6 years to my partner of 30 years.

    In the spirit of American Equailty, this should NOT happen.

    THANK YOU for helping to stop this from happening to others. In a fair world, we should have had 30 years as a married couple."

  • 32. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

    PP8TT staff:

    I'm not trying to disturb our wonderful community here, but Owen (another member of our community) and I and others still need some counseling from you on how to reconcile this:


    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, is it true?

  • 33. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I beg your pardon, the other URL should have been:


    These are serious allegations.
    Please clarify.

  • 34. Judy  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Your two links are the same, Ray. But, perhaps you ask readers to reconcile how Ken Mehlman can say he's gay yet continue to donate money to those not supporting gay rights. Is that what you're asking?

    I'd need more information to address that. I've read so many things on the internet that are less than fully disclosed that I have become jaded in what I read. I'd need to ask Mr. Mehlman himself, see the dates of the contributions, know more about previous promises, etc.

    Do you expect one of us readers to know Mr. Mehlman's thoughts? Sorry, this is a readership of primarily freethinkers, I'm hoping. We like facts. Scrutinized.

  • 35. Judy  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Oh, in reading the corrected link I see that Queerty feels some money was given in 2006 and 2008. The article also says it believes people should be able to donate according to many issues, as long as it's not against gay rights. I think they're pandering to the easily-inflamed.

    They then say, "AFER's board is willing to let their past sins disappear from their consciousness." Perhaps that's what I'll do, too.

  • 36. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Sorry about the confusion…

    you and Queerty appear to agree that “AFER’s board is willing to let their past sins disappear from their consciousness.”, but I/we need to hear from AFER/PP8TT themselves.

  • 37. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Ray, I for one still am unsure exactly what your question is, and to whom you are addressing it. Could you expand a little more?

    Are you thinking that P8TT and CCI are the same as AFER? I do not believe that they are.

  • 38. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Ray, yes I know you are interested in this and have posted it again so this is bothering you and this is the place to come to for that.

    I will offer my 0.02 cents. For me it depends on the timing of the donations. The article does not say if he made these donations in the spring or the summer or last week. For me that timing is everything, and I am holding back a bit on judgement until someone posts that dates the contributions were given.

    Remember what you wrote about Governor Schwartzenegger (hope I spelled it at least close to being right)? I kinda feel the same way about Mehlman right now. I would need more facts about the timing of the donations before I could condem him.

  • 39. Bob  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Judy, Ray is just calling the troops to circle the wagons, you or I do not have the answers, but the family here is extensive, and eventually someone will find something, or another connection to some group who will do an investigation, or get to the bottom of this. just watch and listen.

    Ray's alarm is valid. how can we deal with it,

  • 40. Dpeck  |  August 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Actually, there was quite a bit of discussion on this exact topic just recently, but no harm discussing it a bit more. In one of the linked articles, there is another link that seems to provide some pretty revealing information. It can list donations by year, so you can easily see which donations have been made recently (like during 2010). Here's the link:

    I don't know how often that source gets updated or how accurate it is, but this is one example of how folks could continue to monitor this issue if they are so inclined. Personally, I think it's definitely worth keeping an eye on this because he's quite powerful and well connected. And if he is not really making amends for past actions and is not changing how he donates and who he supports even after coming out, this should be given a lot of visibility. But time will tell.

    Until then, if folks want to do something proactive they might want to write to him and congratulate him on his coming out and tell him that we're aware of his past donations and we're all looking forward to seeing him make some positive changes in his donations and political actions and we will be very glad to see proof that he has decided to stop hurting LGBT Americans.

  • 41. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    and… per your link… there seems to be a big difference in searching for 'singer,paul' and 'singer, paul' (notice the space, which is not explained).

    Note: Paul Singer / Elliot see contributions at your link for Mr. Singer well into 2010.

    From Advocate:

    Duncan Osborne reports that “Paul Singer, the chief of Elliott Management, a multi-billion hedge fund, gave $100,000 to McDonnell, currently Virginia’s governor, between April of 2009 and September of that year and $25,000 to Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general, in August of 2009. McDonnell and Cuccinelli are Republicans and Singer has a long history of making substantial donations to that party’s state and federal organizations and candidates as well as to right wing think tanks and policy groups.”

    Something doesn't smell right here.

    I think we are all owed some explanation.

  • 42. Dpeck  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Ray,

    I still don't seem to be grasping the point. The way I uderstand it, This very rich guy Paul Simon donates to some anti-gay politicians (boo!) and he will also be raising a lot of money for AFER (yay!). Although that does seem odd to me, I don't knwo the guy and I have no idea what motivates him.

    But who owes us an explanation? And for what?

  • 43. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm


    It doesn't seem odd to you?!

    In a short time we are made aware of numerous republicans supporting BOTH sides of this issue?

    Are they really sincere, or just desparate to get their party elected?

    Seems wacked to me!

    Either you're for equality or your not… NO in between!

    It doesn't even compare to 'marriage vs. civil unions' … those are obviously different! This is like mixing water and gasoline! and expecting it to fuel your car!

  • 44. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Sorry, but I can't explain what those (or most) Republicans think.

  • 45. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Ray in MA, after reading the Advocate article I thought the rich dude in NY, would probably be more comfortable int he Libertaian party than the Republican party.

    I was especially glad the article pointed out this, "Since taking office this year, Governor McDonnell has suggested that laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation may be unnecessary. He issued an executive order that banned discrimination in state employment but failed to include sexual orientation."

    As most of you by now know, that is the state my daughter lives in. Oh and he ran on that promise, "Vote for me and I will remove the current employment protections agains DISCRIMINATION against GLBT's in state employment. That was a big campaign promise he made, "Vote for me and I'll go get the gay's for you" and he was elected. It was practically the first thing he did, was via executive order, eliminate job protections for state GLBT employees against DISCRIMINATION.

  • 46. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Ray you have motivated me, I am going to write a paper letter to Paul Singer and tell him about our family and ask him to stop giving money to candidates who discriminate against LBT's.

  • 47. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    @Ray in Ma

    It is a political fact of life that people support and elect legislators based on how well they will govern, on what their positions are on the economy, and national security and the environment and health care and….. social issues.

    If we all voted based on social equality considerations, 50% of the federal and state senates and houses of representatives would be women.

    A republican will support the candidate s/he deems will govern best… which includes being electable.

    Very few people are single issue voters, and we should temper our judgment, and sometimes bite our tongues and accept support and an entree to new supporters when it is offered. Unqualified support may not be achievable.

    Saying nothing about whether to be happy about it.

  • 48. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Yes, DPeck, it may have to be a 'wait an see' type of thing.

    Mehlman is one issue, and AFER is another.

    Having conributed my hard earned money to both AFER and PP8TT/CCI, I have concerns.

    As it notes: "Something is terribly wrong here."

  • 49. Dave in ME  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    So, are they going to stop?

    Dave in Maine

  • 50. Dpeck  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Ok, now I am confused by recent posts.

    The article is about Ken Mehlman donating his money to anti-gay politicians and anti-gay arganizations. So is the link I posted.

    @Ray, what does this have to do with PP8TT?

    @Dave in ME, who is 'they' and what should 'they' stop doing?

  • 51. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    It's late at night for me… correct my late night diziness… is there any connection with AFER, CCI and PP8TT? Maybe no firm legal ties, but seem to be many friendly associations. The web sites appear to associate themselves with each other.

    I hope I am wrong, but from a distance, things can be cloudy.

  • 52. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    At the top of the page of this site, it states that P8TT is "a project of CCI". So the money for P8TT comes from CCI. That much seems clear to me.

    I don't know of any formal ties between CCI and AFER.

    I, too, am unclear on who "they" are and what it is that they should stop doing.

  • 53. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I think Dave in Maine is asking if these questionable men of influence and power will now stop supporting anti-gay politicians via campaign contributions.

    Mehlman, since his revelation… will he stop contributing?

    Singer (and others) will they stop contibuting now that they are staunch supporter of AFER?

    The dates of contributions shown in:

    appear to make one wonder.

  • 54. David in ME  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:37 am

    No, I'm not asking that. I don't know enough about the men and the politicians to say anything. But I do know that the world doesn't revolve around us and it's unreasonable to ask that all allies support only pro-gay people 100% of the time. Like the Target situation. Are they supposed to support pro-gay causes to the detriment of pro-business causes? I don't know. But I'm not going to boycott or put down people until I know all the details.

    Dave in Maine

  • 55. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    and DPeck, see my correction above…

    Hope this clarifies.

  • 56. David in ME  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:24 am

    No, I am referring to the original post about NOM and their use of the song!

    We see that Peter and Paul have asked them to stop, but HAVE they? WILL they? If they don't, then what?

    Dave in Maine

  • 57. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Just in case anyone wanted more verification that kids of same-sex parents do fine:

  • 58. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Thank YOU Ann S, I'll bookmark this for future reference.

  • 59. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    This article is new, published in Aug 2010, and so adds to the body of knowledge referenced in the Prop 8 trial.

  • 60. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Yes, and it's based on census data, which of course is quite extensive.

  • 61. Ann S.  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Nothing to do with PP&M, but I just came across this video I thought you folks would like:

    (That's my brother and his husband playing the male couple, but I didn't even know they had helped make this until I saw this on Twitter.)

  • 62. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Ann S I wonder why you did not have the video dislayed here. Here I'll do it, it is a good video.
    [youtube =]

  • 63. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Freedom to Marry has just posted this on their FB page!!

  • 64. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Thank you, SG, I can't figure out why sometimes they embed and sometimes they don't. Often I just post the YouTube URL and then embed, other times not. Maybe I used the wrong code?

  • 65. Ray in MA  |  August 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I guess what I'm getting at is:

    PP8TT and CCI suggest that I donate to AFER (or am I mistaken about that?)

    How can I feel good about donating my hard earned pennies when "they" are in bed with those who donate THOUSANDS of DOLLARS to those who are against EQUALITY.

    The explanation I need is why. It doesn't make sense to me.

    (I feel very dis"couraged" right now)

  • 66. Qwerty  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm


    AFER is a bi-partisan coalition of people who agree on this issue, but for many I'm guessing that same gender marriage isn't the only issue they care about. The point is that they are willing to put their other political and philosophical differences aside to collaborate on this issue. That's what makes a coalition work.

    I'm quite sure that the republicans associated with AFER will continue to support Republican candidates and democrats associated with AFER will do the same. But donating to a candidate is (sadly) often about more than their position on this issue. Just like I donated to Obama in 2008 because I thought he was the right candidate over McCain, even though I disagreed with his position on marriage. Since it's impossible to find a politician in every race who agrees with you on everything, you've got to support who you feel is the right choice an then lobby them to change the positions you don't like. Otherwise most of us wouldn't vote or contribute to anything.

    I can certainly understand having so much passion on this issue that for you, any candidate who doesn't support marriage equality is a non-starter, but I'm not sure we can expect that kind of commitment from a coalition if it is going to be broad and inclusive enough to make a difference.

    As long as AFER is funded to continue to move the needle on this issue in the courts and in public opinion, I don't really care who donates to them. Remember, AFER isn't making donations to anti-gay candidates, its not a PAC. You can't expect a group to review all of it's supporters other donations to ensure perfect purity in the marriage issue. It would have no Republican (and sadly) very few Democratic donors indeed if that were the case.

    The only questions for me when I donate is, "Do I support the work AFER is doing?" and "do I think this organization will use my money well?". For me, the answer to both of these is a big fat YES.

    But if you don't feel comfortable, by all means, support CC or other groups that are also working to advance the cause and meet your standards. I just think AFER is our best shot and want to see Olsen and Boises continue their work. Hopefully, Mehlman will learn to use his money more wisely, but in the meantime, I'm glad for any additional support. We got over Ted Olsen arguing Bush v. Gore, right? 😉

    Just my two cents.

    Btw, I've been a daily reader since Jan, but this is my first comment. Thanks to you all for this amazing community. There are a lot of us "observers" out there.

    I guess my point

  • 67. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    QWERTY, really you have been reading all along and just now decided to post? Consumer conversion to Contributor, I like that. What a great post.

    Those QWERTY keys are there for a reason 🙂 [SMILE] Please by all means, use them more often and continue to post. I would like to hear more from you.

    I agree with you about AFER, they should get all contributions they can, they are not a Political Organization. I do condem Kennth Mahlman though as he is contributing to getting people elected to office who are FOR Discrimination against GLBT people.

    AFER Thumbs Up, Mahlman Thumbs Down.

  • 68. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Qwerty, very well put. I have no problem with AFER taking money from Mehlman, it doesn't mean they agree with the other uses to which Mehlman may put his money.

  • 69. Kathleen  |  August 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Anyone remember me telling the story of my dear friend Kevin – the artist who died of AIDS in 1987?

    I had a vivid reminder of him tonight. I was watching PBS's "History Detectives" and the first segment was about a collection of animation cells. One of them was a get-well cartoon for Charlotte Darling, signed by all the people who worked in the inking dept at Warner Brothers. Tukufu Zuberi said he didn't know who she was. I was yelling at the TV. I KNOW WHO SHE IS!!!! It's KEVIN'S MOTHER!!! Darling was her maiden name; she worked for every major studio in her lifetime.

    Just wanted to share that.

  • 70. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Wow, that's kind of cool. Thanks for sharing it.

  • 71. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Ray in MA, okay so I Mehlman and I see that July 20th he gave $1,000 to Congressman Dave Reichert (Washington State)
    So I checked out that Congressman to see where he stands on GLBT's issues and lo and behold he is FOR the Discrimination against GLBT's in our military, see this blog entry from Seattle-

    "Has Congressman Dave Reichert (R) fallen of his rocker? On Thursday when hundreds of Congressmen and women took the historic step to begin the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Reichert ignored the will of his constituents from the 8th district of Washington and voted against the repeal effort."

    Also it bugged me that Congressman Reichert does not have on his website any policy statment on where he stands on GLBT rights. I bet we see more of this from Republican Congressmen and Senators, they just remove this issue from their websites. Actually by doing that they make our community disappear. Like we don't exist. Don't talk about it and it will go away…

    NOW I am ready to condem Mehman!!!!!!!!
    He can't have it both ways. He cannot continue to donate and support politicians who believe it is okay to continue discriminating against Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Trans Gender people.

  • 72. Straight Grandmother  |  August 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    In June our newest best buddy Kenneth Mehman gave $500 to this Bruce Blakeman running for the NY U.S. Senate seat.

    This is his postiion, "Blakeman said he was against gay marriage and partial-birth abortion. He also favors parental notification in the case of minors seeking abortions.

    Condem Mehlman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Tell Mehlman to join the Tea Party or the Libertarians.

  • 73. Anonygrl  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:52 am


    Wouldn't it be better to say "Sure, Mehlman, we will take your money" and then go do good work with it? He is going to continue to donate to Republicans whether we take some of his money or not. Doesn't it make more sense to TAKE some of it, than to chase him away?

    We never need to say we LOVE the man, just that we appreciate his donation.

  • 74. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:04 am


  • 75. Straight Grandmother  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Maybe… He kind of has us between a rock and a hard place doesn't he? He comes out he wants our acceptence (if he didn't he would have jsut stayed int he closet), and yet he continues giving money to politicians who destroy our families. There must be some Republians who are not anti Equality, can't he contribute to just them? Let me put it this way, raising money for AFER does not exonerate him if he continues donating to anti equality politicians. I would like to take his money but not invite him to any parties.

  • 76. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:21 am

    I agree with you, Anonygrl.

    Would I be wrong in thinking that when people with influence and money come out of the closet that the issues are not quite the same for them (except for the marriage issue)?

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 77. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Yes. Take the money, but don't give him a rainbow sno-cone.

  • 78. Anonygrl  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:59 am

    That's right. He gets the yellow sno-cone.

    LEMON! What were YOU thinking? Good grief!


  • 79. Dave in CA  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:21 am

    This was the point of my "Open Letter" to Mehlman a few days ago, when he came out.

    It's not enough for me if he merely "says" he wants to support same sex marriage. He has to "show" it clearly, loudly, visibly. With demonstrable results. The Three Rs of Apologizing: Regret, Responsibility, Repair.

    Am still trying to find a way to get it either in print or out into the blogosphere.

  • 80. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Were you able to find a way to send it to him, Dave?

  • 81. Dave in CA  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:44 am

    I did send it to the contact email at AFER. I would sure like to see it get into a public space though to see if others in the community will sign on and put some pressure behind it.

  • 82. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Dave, I will even post it on the Equality Rides page on FB, and will send it to the FB page for Freedom to Marry.

  • 83. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Linda, Linda; where are you??? We had a wonderful rush of postings from you t'other day, and now you've faded away…..

  • 84. Freddy  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Ok, so if we collectively declare that our community should absolutely refuse any and all money from Mehlman and Co. to include the 750K + that Paul Singer is raising for us, who is going to step up and fill that void? With this money, there is the potential to fund other cases against the ones that want to discriminate against us. I say take all of there money we can get our hands on and then tell them they are not pure enough to get the rainbow sno-cones and see what they do then. Just my 2 cents.

  • 85. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:33 am

    yep yep yep

  • 86. Dave in CA  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Exactly. Take the money, and his support in whatever form, but continue to demand, expect and ask for more. Keep the pressure on.

    Do we know how forecfully these other candidates work against LGBT issues, or do they just say stuff to pander to their base? And then do nothing behind the scenes at all – which was the complaint the NOMers and crowd made against Bush / Cheney. As the saying goes, politics makes for strange bedfellows.

    Target just came out with a statement today that their support of the LGBT community is and always has been unwavering; HOWEVER they also reminded us that they are first and foremost a business and must support the candidates that they believe further their business objectives. That's just the way it is.

  • 87. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Did they also remind us of how they used to require on employment applications information about sexual orientation?

  • 88. Dave in CA  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Target used to ask about sexual orientation on job applications?? I didn't know that one. Wow.

  • 89. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Dave, click on my name on this post, and post a comment on my blog. Then I will email you and you can send me a copy of your letter to Ken Mehlman and I will post it there. That work for you?

  • 90. Kathleen  |  August 31, 2010 at 3:51 am

    I won't be voting for him if he runs for office, but I'll gladly take his money to pay for lawyers to fight this battle in court. If he wants to give money to the cause, I don't see the problem, as long as the money isn't buying him the opportunity to set an agenda with which I disagree.

    Refusing to spend my money with a company that uses its earnings to support anti-civil rights candidates is very different than taking money to support a specific cause from someone whose politics don't align with my own.

  • 91. Dave T  |  August 31, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Why is it that folks on the right feel it's OK to use the songs of artists without permission?

    I can think of a couple over the last few years…

    The current example of Peter, Paul, & Mary
    John McCain's use of Jackson Browne's Running on Empty during the 2008 campaign
    Rand Paul's use of Rush songs
    Sarah Palin using Heart's Barracuda

    Perhaps it's because of the "liberal bent" of musicians and artists (ie. they're more likely to complain when folks on the right use their music), but my question is really simpler than that: regardless of whether or not a particular artist agrees with your political stance, why don't you ask before going ahead and using their work?

  • 92. fiona64  |  August 31, 2010 at 3:20 am

    "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission." GEN Norman H. Schwarzkopf

    I think that covers it pretty well. See, if you *ask,* they might say "no." And if you get permission, you have to *pay.* The right wing thinks that only *they* should get handouts, which is why they favor corporate tax loopholes while screaming about people needing foodstamps and how they don't "deserve" them.

    "Do as I say, not as I do" is the order of the day.


  • 93. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Can you imagine the legal fallout if the left were to use songs by rightwing artists (yeah; I know the idea is a stretch…)? They'd be all over us.

  • 94. fiona64  |  August 31, 2010 at 3:21 am

    PS – I am sure that Ted Nugent would be happy to pony up some of his finer hits for the conservatives …


  • 95. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Singer/gay activist Judy Fjell is a pal of mine (I probably claim her a whole lot more than she would claim me), and I'm trying to get her to post a YouTube video for us here at P8TT of her performing her iconic song, "It's Not Just in the Bible, It's in the Hardware Store," which she wrote and sings in her best contrived redneck voice. Here's a sample:

  • 96. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Here are the lyrics:

    IT’S NOT JUST IN THE BIBLE Words and Music by Judy Fjell

    1. Well I was lined up for a hot dog near the corner of Fourth and Grand
    A little crowd had gathered there, they were listening to a man
    He was preachin’ at the top of his voice, rantin’ and ravin’ well
    He said all homosexuals are goin’ straight to hell

    2. Now it happened that this subject was oh so dear to me
    So I stepped a little closer to his soap box homily
    I expected quotes from Leviticus or somethin’ from St. Paul
    But what this man was spoutin’ well it just beat ‘em all

    He said it’s not just in the Bible it’s in the hardware store
    On aisle twenty-three you can see just what God made us for
    In your plumbing and your electrical God speaks to us each day
    There’s male parts and female parts and not a one is gay

    3. Oh the male sticks out and the female don’t that’s the way it’s meant to be
    Whether you’re talkin’ water flow or electricity
    If you want to build a family home there’s only one way it will work
    That way’s male to female not some homo quirk CHORUS

    4. He said it’s not just in the Bible it’s in the hardware store
    On aisle twenty-three you can see just what God made us for
    And when our time is up on this old earth there’s a checkout stand in the sky
    And if we are not hooked up right then we will surely die

    5. Well just then the clock struck one and I hightailed it back to work
    In wonder at the image of St. Peter as a checkout clerk
    I believe the man at Fourth and Grand preachin’ there today
    Knows the simple truth about nuts and bolts but nothin’ of bein’ gay

    6. Because I’m not just in the Bible or in the hardware store
    Aisle twenty-three, there’s more to me, mm-hm, a whole lot more
    Than plumbing and electrical to my sexuality
    But the next time I screw in a lightbulb I’ll be thinkin’ theology

    Because it’s not just in the Bible it’s in the hardware store
    On aisle twenty-three you can see just what God made us for
    In your plumbing and your electrical God speaks to us each day
    There’s male parts and female parts and not a one is gay
    And don’t tell me ‘bout no adaptors ‘cause the Lord don’t work that way!

    ©1994 Judy Fjell(BMI)
    Honey Pie Music PO Box 1515 Big Timber, MT 59011

  • 97. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Incidentally, this really happened to her in Medford, Oregon.

  • 98. fiona64  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I grew up in Oregon.

    I wish I could say I was surprised by this. :-/


  • 99. Kathleen  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:57 am

    I'm suspicious of people who hear plumbing and electrical supplies speaking to them.

  • 100. Sagesse  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:02 am


    Is that like some kind of 'natural law'?

  • 101. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Kathleen, yeah. Only baked goods, chocolate, and fabulous yarn talk to me.

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

    @ Kathleen: I would have trouble listening to someone who compares human beings to man-made appliances of any sort, or to those items used to repair and/or maintain them.

  • 103. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 7:41 am

    But Judy did write a good song from having listened to the nut case….. wingnut case? Ah, more hardware references!

  • 104. Ann S.  |  August 31, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Great song, I want to hear it all!

  • 105. Kate  |  August 31, 2010 at 6:26 am

    She has a really good one about the Pope visiting SF, too, if you want me to post the lyrics. That one is on one of her CDs; unfortunately, the hardware store one isn't.

  • 106. Ray in MA  |  August 31, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Very Glad to hear form all of you concerning this issue.

    It's like I've shared this issue with my brothers and sisters, and you've all listened to me and been there for me.

    I hope we've all learned from this. I have.

    Our community is not removed from the intricit(sp?) facts of politics.

    Thank you QWERTY and SG, Kate, Kathleen, the Daves, Richard, and all you lurkers (you know who you are) for being here.

    Especially QWERTY. You made quite an effort to clarify, and it it helped me tremendously.

    I learned that our venture is very compex and each of our contributions ($ and community wise) is valuable to this cause.

    On the snide side, it also hit me this morning…maybe these people call in favors at a later time for our benefit… bluntly: I gave you $X, I 'need' you to vote 'this way'.

    On my innocent and sentimental side, I'd rather it be done by making people 'see the light' rather than 'I owe you a favor'.

    I hope I've made some points and exposed some points on this subject that will help others understand what's going on here.

    Again, Thank You ALL.

  • 107. Qwerty  |  August 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Anytime, Ray! Thanks for listening. I'm in awe of you all and the great discussion that happens here.

  • 108. “Moral rights”&hellip  |  September 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    […] notified them that NOM was playing “This Land Is Your Land” at their rallies? And when 23,154 Courage Campaign community members thanked Peter, Paul & Mary? Well, the case has been the subject of discussion in other forums […]

  • 109. Ronnie  |  January 30, 2011 at 7:59 am

    How did I miss this thread?…..anyway….thank you Peter & Paul (RIP Mary) for putting NOM in their place…<3…Ronnie

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