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NOM’s Pointless Pre-Election Cash Dump


The future of Florida’s marriage ban is hanging in the balance, with a big ruling that could allow marriage to start any day now. Anti-gay groups are still spending tons of money in multiple states, but they’re not getting much out of it. And there’s an election this week could determine the future of marriage in multiple southwestern states.

A Florida court has put the brakes on several marriage lawsuits, which means we may have to wait months for the next step in the cases. Attorney General Pam Bondi had asked to skip directly to the State Supreme Court for a decision, but the Third District Court of Appeals has now denied her request, which means more delays. Meanwhile, a stay remains in effect in Florida that prevents couples from marrying. This week attorneys for gay and lesbian couples asked a US District Judge to lift the stay. We could have a decision on that request any day now.

It’s been two weeks since marriage was legalized in Arizona, and by now every county in the state has issued at least one marriage license to a gay or lesbian couple. But there’s still a large area of Arizona where LGBTs can’t marry: the Navajo Nation. Marriage equality is banned there, but that could soon change. Navajo Nation presidential candidate Joe Shirley Jr. has supported a repeal of that ban in the past. He faces a vote this Tuesday, November 4th.

Opponents of equality continue to waste huge amounts of money. The state of Idaho revealed this week that Governor Butch Otter has committed an additional $10,000 to continue marriage litigation. That’s on top of $71,000 that taxpayers have had to put up so far. And the National Organization for Marriage is spending $117,000 in North Carolina to support the election effort of Thom Tillis. He was one of the main backers of the state’s marriage ban that was overturned last month. Even if Tillis wins the election, he probably can’t stop the marriages at this point, so it’s hard to say what exactly NOM is hoping to accomplish.

And mark your calendars: we have some new upcoming court dates. On November 20th, Arkansas’s Supreme Court will hear oral argument in one case, and federal court will hear argument in another. And the Fifth Circuit has set a date of January 5 for hearings in two crucial cases from Texas and Louisiana. The Louisiana case is one of the only lawsuits with a ruling that upheld a marriage ban. If the appeals court agrees with that ruling, there’s a strong likelihood the US Supreme Court will take up the case.


  • 1. RLsfba  |  November 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    NOM's best buddy Tony Perkins spews," ‘Climate Change Alarmists’ Want to Turn People Gay" Keep it up Tony, thanks for your craziness, just makes you look more unhinged.

  • 2. RnL2008  |  November 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    These idiots like Perkins and NOM HAVEN'T figured it out how much their animus has helped our cause….because if they did, they'd be out of business in this Country……but somehow they DON'T see it that way!!!

  • 3. RLsfba  |  November 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    They have figured out how their animus gets them a paycheck. They do everything they can to incite their base and the endless plea for more $. They do not have a rational concept of reality.

  • 4. RnL2008  |  November 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Boy, you said a mouth full…….and these idiots will continue to run around screaming the Sky is Falling until their dying breath…… sad to live life hating folks just because of who they are!!!

  • 5. David_Midvale_UT  |  November 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    And now you understand Utah religionist extremists. At least many Utahns have the excuse, "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done."

  • 6. bayareajohn  |  November 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    "Even if Tillis wins the election, he probably can’t stop the marriages at this point, so it’s hard to say what exactly NOM is hoping to accomplish."

    Easy to say. They are rewarding their faithful.

  • 7. StraightDave  |  November 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    NOM's not gonna spend any of their money rewarding anyone but themselves. All they're trying to do is keep a mouthpiece in the spotlight so some more suckers can think the issue is still alive. If Tillis goes down, the illusion of an open issue goes away, as do the contributors.

  • 8. bayareajohn  |  November 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    By publicly supporting those who sing their song, NOM encourages others to join the chorus, thus it is as much an investment as a reward.

  • 9. Zack12  |  November 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    By Tillis getting elected, it increases the Republican majority, supports the notion you can be anti-gay and get away with it in a purple state and makes it that much harder in 2016 for Democrats to take the Senate back.
    Throw in the fact we will lose one of the supportive Senators we have from the South and it is indeed a big deal if he gets elected.

  • 10. GregInTN  |  November 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Matt should have mentioned that Tom Tillis is a candidate for the U.S. Senate. If elected, he would no longer have any role regarding marriage equality in North Carolina. He could vote for the never-going-to-pass Federal Marriage Amendment however.

  • 11. StraightDave  |  November 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Tillis will have no role in ME in NC no matter where he ends up. That book is closed forever. But he can eff up the US Senate.

  • 12. Zack12  |  November 4, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Indeed, I don't get why Matt is acting like it's no big deal if Tillis wins.

  • 13. DACiowan  |  November 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    So if the Sixth Circuit rules for marriage without a stay, here is the new Wikipedia map. Come on, Sutton…

  • 14. StraightDave  |  November 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    That would leave OH and TN just a simple (WV) or not-so-simple (KS) step away from dark blue. More fun and nuts.

  • 15. wes228  |  November 4, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Keep in mind that the 6th Circuit will very likely wait the 21 days before issuing their mandate.

  • 16. DACiowan  |  November 4, 2014 at 6:35 am

    That is true; perhaps that will be enough time to get full rulings in Ohio and Tennessee so the entire Sixth goes blue at once.

  • 17. Silvershrimp0  |  November 4, 2014 at 6:53 am

    At this point, with most of the country having marriage equality I wouldn't be surprised to see clerks in bigger cities begin issuing licenses right away after a favorable ruling from the 6th.

  • 18. wes228  |  November 4, 2014 at 7:01 am

    They would be breaking the law.

  • 19. DACiowan  |  November 4, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Keep in mind West Virginia started issuing without waiting for a specific ruling. The mandate is important but also a formality.

  • 20. StraightDave  |  November 4, 2014 at 7:58 am

    IANAL, but…
    Doesn't the initial ruling establish the law, which can optionally be followed in good conscience? I thought it was the mandate that removed all discretion and made not following it after that point "breaking the law".

  • 21. ebohlman  |  November 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

    One potential surprise: if MI decides to seek cert and applies to the SCOTUS for a permanent stay (presumably after a temporary one from the 6th), we're likely expecting it to be denied but we need to keep in mind that it's the only case with a trial record and if the SCOTUS were to take up a case without a split, this would be the one.

  • 22. F_Young  |  November 4, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Ohioans still oppose gay marriage, but not by much, poll says

  • 23. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 4, 2014 at 11:58 am

    "Gay marriage is now legal in 32 states and the District of Columbia, although that was achieved through a vote of the public in only three states (Maine, Maryland and Washington)."

    Ah, nothing like skewing the narrative, is there. For instance, in Maryland and Washington state, there was a vote only because the legislature voted for ME, opponents gathered enough signatures to get an election on it, and then there was a vote by the public on it.

    How about Minnesota, where there was a vote that set the stage for ME? New York and numerous New England states where the legislature voted for ME? The DC council voted for it, has had openly GLBT members of that council for several consecutive years, and this year has an openly gay candidate for mayor. In Illinois and Hawai'i, ME was passed by the legislature, after years of discussion.

    Is the Columbus Dispatch trying to get people to believe that there are only two ways to get ME – direct vote by the people or 'court imposed'? If so, the writer of this article needs to be educated, and the newspaper needs to be scorned for hiring such a numbskull.

  • 24. BenG1980  |  November 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Mike, since the article is reporting the results of a public opinion poll taken in the midst of an election, I think the reporter is just adding an additional layer of context by stating that fact. As you may recall, there was a dispute among pro-marriage equality groups about whether to propose a ballot initiative to reverse the marriage equality ban in the Ohio constitution in 2014 or wait until 2016. Ultimately everyone decided to wait, but it was very contentious at the time, so the results of this poll indicate that may have been wise. (Of course, it's also possible that public opinion could have been swayed more quickly as a result of a campaign in 2014.)

    Since the Ohio legislature is already controlled by conservative Republicans and looks likely to move even farther right after today's votes have been tallied, legalizing marriage equality legislatively is a non-starter. However, with two cases before the Sixth Circuit and two Ohioans on the 3-judge panel, Ohio also figures prominently in the judicial proceedings that are currently pending. So I think that's why the Dispatch writer focuses on the two paths to marriage equality that he does.

  • 25. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    The entire implication, though, is that there are two, and only two, methods for ME – a vote by the state's voters, or 'court imposed'. There are several states where the legislature voted for ME, but it is not stated in the article that state legislatures (or equivalent) can vote for ME (a third method for a state to gain ME). The article implied that there are only two methods for a state to gain ME – a vote by the voters, or 'court imposed'. And in two of the three examples given by the writer (Maryland and Washington state) of 'direct vote', the state legislatures had already voted for ME. It was only because of the state voting laws that the voters had any opportunity to vote on the issue.

    Thus my statement that the writer needs to be educated on how ME can be attained (it can be attained by MORE than a vote of the voters or 'court imposed'), and the newspaper needs to be scorned because of it hiring such a numbskull.

    Do I expect the Ohio state legislature (as it is currently composed) to allow ME in the state? No, but that is how it was attained in several other states.

  • 26. BenG1980  |  November 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Sorry, I should have stated this above, but the primary reason the state legislature can't eliminate Ohio's ban is because it's a constitutional ban. In Ohio there are three ways to amend the state constitution and all three involve a vote by the public. The legislature can be involved or not, but the public always must vote.

    In fact, I think all of the remaining bans across the country are in the constitutions of their respective states.

  • 27. DACiowan  |  November 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Yes; Indiana, West Virginia, and Wyoming were the last banning states without a constitutional ban.

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