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NOM and “Bullying”: Pot, meet kettle

NOM Exposed Right-wing

By Adam Bink

I see NOM is complaining over our effort to ask LGBT friend and travel company Orbitz to stop advertising on anti-gay Fox News. They call it “bullying.” Their headline:

Gay Leaders Try Bullying Orbitz to Drop FoxNews

Of course, leaving aside that NOM would never speak out when, say, the American Family Association boycotts Ford over Ford’s decision to advertise in magazines that cater to the LGBT community, NOM doesn’t exactly have a clean track record when it comes to what is “bullying” and what is not. Let’s turn it over to Equality Matters:

As anybody who has had the displeasure of following NOM’s work over the past several months knows, the group clearly has a habit of tossing around accusations of “bullying” any time pro-LGBT groups attempt to pressure politicians or organizations to support equal rights.

How NOM actually defines bullying, however, is a little less clear.

Let’s review.

Bullying: Pressuring King & Spalding To Stop Defending DOMA

NOM criticized groups like the Human Rights Campaign for contacting King & Spalding’s clients and informing them that the firm’s decision to take up the Defense of Marriage Act’s (DOMA) defense in federal court was in conflict with its stated commitment to diversity.

NOM called the effort a “jihad” meant to “intimidat[e]” supporters of traditional marriage and praised Paul Clement’s decision to leave the firm as a “story of courage.”

Not Bullying: Launching A Targeted Ad Campaign Against King & Spalding For Not Defending DOMA

In response to King & Spalding’s decision to drop its defense of DOMA, NOM launched a “nationwide web campaign” designed to allow “average Americans to express their views directly to King & Spalding’s leadership.” The campaign’s website, “We’re There Until You Need Us,” includes a petition condemning the firm’s “cowardice” and “abandonment of professional ethics,” as well as a Facebook page.

It makes no mention of recent evidence that reveals the firm was legally entitled to withdraw from its contract due to improper vetting.

Bullying: Tim Gill Pledging Millions To Elect Pro-Equality Candidates In Colorado

NOM criticized gay philanthropist Tim Gill for “threat[ening]” to donate millions of dollars in order to elect pro-equality candidates to the Colorado statehouse after it rejected a civil unions bill in March. In a blog post titled “Tim Gill Says: Vote My Way Or I’ll Dump $2 Million Against Your Party In Colorado,” NOM hinted that Gill’s efforts would shut down the voice of the people:

[W]hat remains to be seen is whether or not politicians who conscientiously reflect the views of Colorado voters on marriage will be able to continue representing those views in office, if Tim Gill and his mega-millionaire friends have anything to say about it.

Not Bullying: Dumping Millions Of Dollars In Maryland And New York To Target Pro-Equality Republicans

NOM pledged to spend $1 million to “hold Maryland legislators accountable” and target any Republicans who considered voting in favor of marriage equality earlier this year. In New York, the organization has already pledged another $1 million to “vigorously oppose in their primaries any Republicans who support gay marriage”:

NOM has defeated every pro-gay marriage Republican we’ve ever targeted, and we’re quite confident we will do so in New York, should that become necessary.

NOM has also pushed an ad by the Conservative Party warning Republican politicians that there will be “tears” if they vote in favor of marriage equality:

Bullying: Governor Cuomo Lobbying On-The-Fence Legislators To Support Marriage Equality

NOM has criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for encouraging legislators to support the state’s upcoming marriage equality bill. NOM promoted a column that described Cuomo’s efforts as “bullying” and “beating up” on the legislature. NOM also criticized him for trying to win “media accolades while alienating voters with his priorities.”

Not Bullying: Spending Half A Million Dollars To Oust Supreme Court Justices For Supporting Marriage Equality

NOM spent $650,000 in a campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices in response to their 2009 decision to allow same-sex couples to marry. The removal was unprecedented, marking the first time a state Supreme Court justice had not been retained since 1962, when the retention system for judges was created. When criticized for politicizing Iowa’s judiciary during a 2011 House hearing, Maggie Gallagher, NOM’s chairwoman, explained, “Well, I think there’s an argument about whether judicial elections are a good idea, and I have not expressed — I don’t actually have an informed opinion on that.”

Does that clear things up?

It’s only “bullying” when LGBT groups refuse to sit down and accept discrimination without putting up a fight.

When NOM spends millions of dollars pressuring lawmakers, ousting judges, and targeting law firms in order to deny countless LGBT Americans equal rights, they’re just doing what’s right.

Exactly right. If you want to call us bullies, NOM, you better find a better messenger. But we’re not going to take discrimination lying down. History has shown that fire must be fought with fire.

Over 600 people have posted messages on Orbitz’s Facebook wall, asking them to stop funding anti-gay media companies. Click here to join them.


  • 1. Rhie  |  May 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

    No, NOM. See, people expressing their opinions about you, and urging others to consider their actions is what it means to live in a free(ish) Democratic Republic. In fact, all we're doing is asking others to treat people how they want to be treated. I think you, a so-called Christian group, would want to follow Jesus' command.

    Bullying is telling a child that they can never be happy because they don't fit your definition of good. Bullying is tearing two loving people apart by law. Bullying is making sure that a person dies without the comfort of the one person they are closest to the world. Bullying is what YOU, NOM, along with FRC and FoTF and Exodus and others do.

  • 2. Michelle Evans  |  May 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

    George Takei takes on the new anti-LGBT law in Tennessee. He has a YouTube video and a web site where proceeds go to charity. The You Tube video is hilarious.

  • 3. Sarah  |  May 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

    This makes my blood boil. Ugh!

  • 4. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

    This is fun. Looks as though Charles Cooper will flunk the Supreme Court English class.

    The Garner Transcripts: That v. Which, and Other Supreme Court Writing Tips

  • 5. John B.  |  May 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

    And of course it's not bullying when somebody like Ruben Diaz (with NOM's approval) calls for a boycott of a Spanish-language newspaper after they committed the horrific sin of publishing an editorial supporting same-sex marriage.

  • 6. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

    House democrats continue to press on the DOMA defence contract.

    House Dems urge Boehner to provide information on DOMA lawyer contract

  • 7. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    This is a perfect example of the local nature of state politics. How can the debate about marriage equality in New York have been going on all year with no reference to this power broker. The polls are irrelevant. The activism is irrelevant. Please explain how any Republican is going to cross this man.

    Conservative Party Is Obstacle to Gay Marriage

  • 8. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Should Networks Be Airing A Debunked Anti-Gay Marriage Ad?

  • 9. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    A lone Republican in Minnesota

    GOP Rep. Kriesel Votes Against Gay Marriage Ban

  • 10. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Imagine what New York would look like if the voters didn't support marriage equality.

    Senate Democrats Knock Bill To Void Gay Marriage From Other States

  • 11. Adam Bink  |  May 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Actually, Sagesse, Gay City News has an excellent piece questioning the reach of the Conservative Party.

  • 12. Joel  |  May 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Completely unrelated, but has anyone seen, posted a link or commented on George Takei's response to Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" act? I'm inept at posting links and embedding videos; it's on YouTube and well worth it. Happy Takei Pride Month, everyone! (ROTFLMAO)

  • 13. LCH  |  May 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    OT: so I went to a townhall meeting in San Francisco tonight about the community's sentiments for putting a repeal of Prop8 on the ballot in 2012. There was a presentation of poll numbers and a Q/A. I have to say I feel so discouraged.

    1) The poll numbers presented aren't terribly in our favor.

    2) At least for the particular org. presenting tonight, any effort to repeal via a ballot still feels as ineffective and fragmented as the campaign against prop8.

    3) There were a couple of speakers in the audience who think our efforts are wasted in getting marriage equality when there is homelessness and poverty and marriage is a repressive institution anyway.

    Was anyone else there tonight who might have a better take? ( I don't know most of you by sight)

    Sheesh so bummed out. It's like herding cats.


  • 14. Ann S.  |  May 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    @LCH, that does sound discouraging. I wasn't there, but maybe some wounds still haven't healed from 2008. I know I heard last year that in particular some families with small children felt they didn't want to subject their kids to another campaign again so soon (the Yes on 8 ads of course served to encourage the kids' classmates to tease or ridicule them).

  • 15. jpmassar  |  May 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    @LCH I was there.

    Herding cats is an appropriate metaphor. Although I think there is hope. I will probably write a much fuller report tomorrow.

  • 16. jpmassar  |  May 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Posted a message on Orbitz's Facebook wall.

  • 17. Michelle Evans  |  May 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    After Prop 8 I was in favor of turning around and getting it put on the ballot immediately to rescind the terrible law. Now, however, I feel that any ballot attempt is a waste of time. If we win, then the anti equality people will just try and overturn it again the next election, like in Maine, and elsewhere.

    The one thing that I think has to be learned from Prop 8 is that we cannot allow our rights to be up to the whim of the voters. This has to be won in court, just like civil rights 50 years ago.

  • 18. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Does not reflect well on the judicial selection process.

    Republicans block judicial nominee’s confirmation

  • 19. Sagesse  |  May 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Tennessee’s Other Gay Invisibility Bill: Let Parents Pull Students Out Of GSAs

  • 20. Phil L  |  May 19, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    OT but still amazing! The newest Values and Beliefs Gallup poll shows 53% majority support for same sex marriage!

    I think that's more than the other poll that emerged recently as well!

  • 21. B&E  |  May 20, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I am sick of living in Tennessee. Our legislature wants nothing more than to eliminate LGBT persons from its borders. That being said… Cisco and Foundry Network engineer seeks position in openminded company in a state where equality is the norm.

  • 22. Ann S.  |  May 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

    @Sagesse, I haven't yet found the TN bill about GSAs, but I found this article at your link:

    It sounds almost just like the Romer case. I hope someone challenges it quickly.

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