For years, foes of same-sex marriage had a potent talking point: They’d won every time the issue went to a popular vote. That winning streak has now been shattered in a multi-state electoral sweep by gay marriage supporters – a historic tipping point likely to influence other states and possibly even the Supreme Court.
A great article on the marriage amendment vote and overall fight for marriage equality across the nation.
The article also quotes a defeated Brian Brown, President for the National Organization for Marriage:
Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case.
Clearly, Brown, and others like him, are not going down without a fight. While we may have won the battle on Tuesday, it’s clear that the war rages on.
Frank Schubert has been busy in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington this election season. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been pouring out-of-state money into each of these races to help fund ads filled with scare tactics and misleading information to trick people into voting against equality.
If you have any doubt, take a look at this fantastic video that TheFour put together in which they compare the commercials currently running in each of the four states that have marriage initiatives on the ballot.
While each commercial has their state-specific organization stamped on the screen, the fact that each commercial is identical highlights an organized effort at the national level to stop marriage equality.
The commercials use the same messaging that has worked so well for Schubert in other states like California where voters elected to limit the rights of committed same-sex couples.
Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington, let’s send Schubert a strong message: Your scare tactics are outdated and voters are smart enough to see through your twisting of the truth.
Oh, and take your money and mean-spirited commercials elsewhere. In Minnesota, we believe in the Golden Rule.
In Minnesota, we Vote No.
NAACP president Ben Jealous spoke out against the marriage amendment during his visit to the U of M today:
There is a very active effort in this state to split the progressive coalition on this issue and to split the black community itself… The National Organization for Marriage is investing dollars in splitting our community in a way that is reprehensible and designed to do grave harm on a wide range of issues.
In August, I posted about the National Organization for Marriage’s attempts to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
I agree with Mr. Jealous, NOM continues to do things that are simply reprehensible. I posted about some more of their deceptive practices just this morning.
In case you missed it last week, same-sex marriage opponents announced a significant influx of dollars to their campaign to the tune of 2 million dollars. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) sent out an email about a donation match offer from an “anonymous donor” (of course the donor is anonymous;NOM never seems to have to disclose where their money comes from). For every dollar donated to NOM, the anonymous donor will add two more dollars to match. The total haul? 3 million dollars to ensuring same-sex couples are treated unequally by the law.
Here are some excerpts from the e-mail NOM sent out to their supporters:
What would you do to raise $3 million to protect marriage from Barack Obama and his wealthy homosexual lobbyists?
A couple paragraphs later, they take another stab at Obama, call out their success in passing Prop 8 in California and let supporters know they’re working hard in Minnesota:
The National Organization for Marriage is the most effective pro-marriage organization in America fighting Obama’s attempts to re-define marriage. NOM also led the fight to defend every successful pro-marriage campaign since Prop. 8 in California, and we’ve been on the front lines in Minnesota, North Carolina, Iowa, Maryland, and states across the nation.
As always, NOM continues to deceive claiming that same-sex equality is supported by “billionaire gay marriage activists:”
This new $2 million matching grant challenge will help us compete even more effectively with Obama’s billionaire gay marriage activists and wealthy Hollywood celebrities who are determined to impose homosexual marriage as the law of the land.
The reality is that Minnesotans United for All Families raised $2.56 million dollars between July 24 and September 18. That money came from over25,000 individual donors! And 98% of those donors were from Minnesota! (source) But facts don’t seem to matter to the other side. Anything they can do to rally their troops, even if it means telling outright lies, they’ll do it.
I’m so tired of this outside organization pouring dollars into this state in an attempt to influence Minnesotans. It would be one thing if they were at least honest in their attempts, but again and again, they mislead voters and refuse to play by the same rules as everyone else. It’s time we call them on their shenanigans.
Here’s my simple message to NOM: Get out of my state. Take your lies and dollars elsewhere. Let real Minnesotans have this conversation with each other.
To help counter NOM’s fundraising, please consider making a small donation to Minnesotans United for All Families through my personal fundraising page.
In March of this year, I shared how the National Organization for Marriage had been promoting “ex-gay therapy” as a way to help change people from being gay. NOM, the primary funding arm behind Minnesota for Marriage, shows what these groups are really after through their advocacy of such practices. Make no mistake, these amendment supporters may hide behind the “protecting traditional marriage” argument, however, advocacy of reparative therapy practices shows their true colors.
With that said, I’m happy to say that this weekend, California has officially become the first state in the country to ban these reparative therapy practices for minors:
This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.
Governor Jerry Brown, California
I hope that other states will follow California’s lead. Let’s stop telling our youth that they need to be repaired for who they are. I said it back in March and I’ll say it again: NOM, your advocacy of these practices is shameful. The damage this organization does to society is far greater than any of the supposed consequences allowing gay marriage would have.
While we may not get the National Organization for Marriage on actual campaign finance violations (due to fancy footwork and silly loopholes), we do get additional insight into their strategies through subpoenaed court documents.
In a report called “Not a Civil Right Project,” NOM highlights it’s plan to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”
The organization hoped to “(f)ind, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” thereby “fanning the hostility” between two groups it sees as “key Democratic constituencies.”
Like I said, we may not actually catch them on legal violations, but we sure continue to get insight into their shady dealings. Provides a lot more insight into why there is such a prevalence of support in African American communities; the National Organization for Marriage is helping make that so.
In February, I posted a blog titled, “So Much for Disclosure Laws” highlighting the fact that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) funneled donations through other organizations to fund their campaign to pass the amendment. A month later, I shared how organizations fighting to pass the marriage amendment in Minnesota were under investigation. Sadly, in July I shared that the disclosure complaint was dismissed because of technical rules in the disclosure laws.
Now, there’s news that Yes on 8, the campaign that fought to pass Prop 8 in California, was found guilty on multiple counts of not disclosing donors. The impact? The organization may be required to pay $49,000.
Years after Prop 8 is passed, Yes on 8 is found guilty for breaking the law and nothing changes in California. So what’s the point of the law in the first place? These cases highlight the fact that donation disclosure laws in this country are simply a joke.
The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Google because of Google’s “Legalize Love” campaign. A little over a week ago, Google announced the Legalize Love campaign and shared that it will focus first on those areas with homophobic cultures or anti-gay laws exist.
According to Google Exec, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe:
We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office
This video features Buster Wilson talking about the boycott of Google and how it will be difficult it would be considering just how integrated Google is in our lives. From the AFA:
A lot of us are so integrated into Google and Google products. This is going to be a tough one. It’s more than just a search engine. Many of us have Android phones — the Android system is a Google product. Many of us use Google calendar, Google Tasks and Gmail. And all those kinds of things. YouTube. And all the other things … this one’s going to be tough. This one’s going to be one of those situations where I guess we’ll test the meat of our convictions.
It’ll be interesting to see where these boycotts head. I just posted how the National Organization for Marriage organization’s reach appears to be waning even more as additional organizations come out against amendments and for marriage equality weekly.
And for those AFA’ers out there, better not use Bing either, as Microsoft has donated money toward gay rights and has come out in favor of marriage equality in Washington State. Maybe it’s time to put the Internet away altogether… ;)
An interesting article that talks about how groups like the National Organization for Marriage are losing ground in the fight for marriage equality. The author talks about several big companies that have come out in support of gay rights and how NOM has had little impact to sway those decisions. According to the story:
…the Human Rights Campaign launched a petition in support of General Mills [for their opposition to the marriage amendment]. To date, more than 70,000 people have signed HRC’s petition.
In contrast, NOM launched a petition denouncing General Mills, which so far has been backed by only 17,000 people, nearly five times fewer than HRC’s petition.
In addition to General Mills, the article talks about Starbucks as well:
When Seattle-based Starbucks, a coffee titan, opposed the anti-gay amendment, NOM called for a boycott of the company. A “Thank You Starbucks” Web campaign received more than 650,000 supporters, while NOM’s “Dump Starbucks” campaign has received about 45,000.
Could this be a sign that NOM’s influence is waning across the country? Is it a sign that organizations are becoming more willing to stand up against these mean-spirited measures regardless of backlash from the other side? As a Minnesotan, and a voter that will be saying NO this NOvember, I hope that this change of tide is in time to help us defeat the amendment in the fall. We’ve already seen several Minnesota businesses take a stand opposing the amendment, let’s rally on many more!
Well, that didn’t take long. Less than two weeks after Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie announced that the title of the marriage amendment would be updated, Minnesota for Marriage is suing the Secretary of State.
According to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) website:
“The actions of SOS Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson are unlawful and exceed their constitutional authority,” said Sen. Warren Limmer, the bill’s chief author. “The Governor’s veto was purely ceremonial and has no legal binding on the title of the amendment. SOS Ritchie is using the veto as a trumped up excuse to thwart the will of the legislature. It is a sad day in Minnesota when the Secretary of State and the Attorney General disregard the will of the legislature and use deceptive language.”
It’s going to be VERY interesting to watch where this goes over the next few weeks.
Author’s note: Once again, we see the National Organization for Marriage stirring the pot in Minnesota. I wonder how much money they’re going to end up pouring into this fight. Here’s hoping it takes away some of the funds used to promote this mean-spirited amendment.
I posted earlier today about how the National Organization for Marriage sent a letter to 50 of Minnesota’s largest companies warning them to remain neutral in the “culture war” by not taking a stance on the amendment in the fall.
This is a clear sign that marriage amendment supporters are fearful the impact businesses in Minnesota would have on this vote. Considering the number of Fortune 500 companies based in Minnesota, and our state’s history of supporting equality and diversity, NOM has right to worry.
Take a minute to read through the letter below. You’ll see that NOM make an inaccurate statement when they say that the amendment has little to do with corporate missions to serve customers, earn profits and provide good jobs for people of Minnesota. The reality is, this amendment impacts all three. Companies compete for talent, and if we can’t attract the best, we will stumble at serving the customer (or, competitors will continue to excel and we’ll stall). The reality is, this has a very direct impact on those profits NOM mentions in their letter below.
The organization also uses scare tactics, including reference to a boycott on Starbucks and the fact that North Carolina just passed a marriage amendment with large margins. Make no doubt about it, the message NOM is attempting to send is clear: Take a stance, and there will be repercussions:
As a cultural matter that has little to do with your corporate mission to serve customers, earn profits, and provide good jobs for the people of Minnesota we would request that _____ adopt a neutral stance on the Minnesota marriage amendment. We do not request that you endorse our efforts to protect the age-old definition of what is a marriage, but only that you stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue.[…]
Wading into a culture war over an issue where _____ has no business interest is to invite public backlash, much like what Starbucks is experiencing in the DumpStarbucks.com campaign, with little upside. Polls have put support for the Minnesota marriage amendment at 56% – higher than polls in North Carolina had support for the marriage amendment there just prior to the 61-39% victory for marriage in that state.[…]
We are carefully watching what _____ will do on this important measure, with the expectation that you will not be engaged on one side or the other. Please let us know if this is not the case.
Source: Thanks to Thinkprogress.org for posting the content of the letter.
Earlier this afternoon, I posted about how Minnesota for Marriage will be holding “Dump General Mills” rallies starting tomorrow at General Mills’ headquarters (if you haven’t read the post yet and clicked on the link to thank General Mills for their support, please do it now).
Interestingly enough, it’s not really Minnesotan’s behind this move. Once again, we see the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) trying to strong-arm both companies and voters in our state by funneling in outside money and influence. Just check out who registered the dumpgeneralmills domain on June 16: the National Organization for Marriage.
In case you didn’t know, NOM is the same group that promotes “ex-gay therapy” and has attempted to strong-arm the likes of Starbucks and republicans that speak out against the amendment. They go from state to state and are a well-funded machine. So when you hear things like, “real Minnesotans fighting to ‘protect’ marriage” just realize, things are not always what they seem in politics.
Please remember to drop General Mills a note or give them a call to say thank you.
This will go down as one of the dumbest corporate PR stunts of all time.
Brian Brown, NOM President, June 14, 2012
Source: NOM Press Release
In a Press Release titled, “General Mills Declares War on Marriage with Its Own Customers,” Brian Brown lashes out at the Minnesota-based company for “declaring war on marriage” for opposing the mean-spirited marriage amendment on ballots this fall.
Note: I’ve posted about NOM many times in this blog (to see some more of their antics; just search NOM on the right side bar).
Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks for those watching the gay marriage saga in the US. Earlier this year, Starbucks came out in support of marriage equality in Washington State. Since that time, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has launched into attack mode against Starbucks (you remember NOM, that crazy organization that promotes ex-gay therapy and funnels millions of dollars into states that are facing marriage amendments, yeah, that NOM).
At a Starbucks’ shareholders meeting earlier this month, NOM’s director of corporate fairness project, Jonathan Baker, asked about the decision to support marriage equality. When CEO Howard Schultz shared that it was in no way a difficult decision for the board to make, NOM didn’t like that.
As a result, a “Dump Starbucks” campaign was launched asking for signatures from those also outraged at Starbucks’ decision to support marriage equality for same-sex couples. As of April 1, the pledge has received over 25,000 pledges.
Ok, so 25,000 is a lot of people threatening to dump Starbucks. On the other hand, another campaign was launched via SumOfUs.org to thank Starbucks for their support of gay marriage. I’m happy to share that as of April 1, this petition has received over 463,000 signatures. Nearly 20 times the number of signatures that the NOM-supported petition has received.
At the end of the day, the message is clear: Big Business can speak out in support of marriage equality and not fear retaliation. Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson shared that the organization is “not seeing any impact” in regards to the boycott. In fact, the SumOfUs petition and social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, have been all abuzz with people standing up for Starbucks. While not necessarily the plan, that’s pretty good PR. Supporting gay marriage actually may end up helping them sell more of their delicious treats.
Note: You can say “thank you” to Strabucks in many ways. Stop by your local store and thank your baristas, share this post with your friends on social media sites or simply sign your name to the SumOfUs page and help reach the goal of 500,000 signatures.
This week, I’ve posted a variety of ads; some use fear to incite emotion while others use children. The above commercial, also from the supporters of Prop 8, creates the feeling of impending doom and starts with:
There’s a storm gathering
The clouds are dark and the winds are strong
And I am afraid…
This ad uses a different technique in that it leverages multiple adult characters each with a different line of dialogue (the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen tells us that these adult characters are all actors, however, they are supposedly telling stories based on real incidents).
The skies throughout the first part of the commercial are dark as each person speaks of the impending storm that is brewing and how rights have been taken away when marriage equality laws are passed.
I am a Massachusetts parent helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is ok.
A California doctor and church group also share how they would supposedly be impacted if gay marriage were legal. The actors go on to say that same-sex marriage advocates are not content and they want to change the way Californians live and that people would have no choice.
The storm is coming.
A man appears with the text Damon Owens, National Organization for Marriage. As he begins to share that there is hope, the overcast skies open up and sun shines through. He shares how “a rainbow coalition of every creed and color coming together in love to protect marriage.” He concludes by putting a plug in for the organization’s website and then says “join us.”
I actually found the commercial to be a little creepy, almost cult-like with the last words Mr. Owens speaks. With that said, it is both memorable and effective as it paints a somber picture of how Californians may be impacted if gay marriage were legal.
Once again, however, the ad is easily debunked. The claim from the California doctor that she must choose between her faith and her job doesn’t make sense. Is she saying that she would have to choose whether or not a same-sex couple would be allowed to see each other in the hospital? Or is she saying that she would have to choose whether or not a same-sex couple raising a child should be allowed to see their daughter in the emergency room? Hmmm. If these are the choices this doctor is making, find me someone else, please! Who else does she hold a grudge against and how does that impact her other decisions?
As for the mother who can do nothing to stop her child from learning about same-sex couples, well I’m sorry to say, that fight is a lost battle. Have you turned on the television recently? Even childrens’ comics feature same-sex couples these days. The reality is, social norms are changing (have changed) and children in every state will be exposed to different definitions of love.
As for the church group that is punished for not following the law? Well, I would ask what benefits that church is receiving from their government? Tax laws in their favor? Other non-exempt benefits? I don’t fully understand why these organizations feel that they should benefit from the government partnerships, but then not be held to any standards of accountability. It always brings me back to the concept of church and state and I’ve got to ask if we’ve got the separation that our founders intended?
The ad was effective and has been viewed over a million times. In fact, it was so popular that Stephen Colbert created his own funny version of this ad (I’ll post it a little later today or tomorrow). While effective, there are clearly ways to counter this type of ad. The most effective is talking about it and pointing out some of the logical gaps mentioned above.