NOM Tour Tracker: Today’s Providence event “became a shouting match”

July 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm 341 comments

By Eden James

News from Providence is coming in:

About 150 opponents of same-sex marriage, gathered near the capitol’s south steps to hear speakers taking part the national group’s “Summer of Marriage” tour, had to strain to hear as more than 175 counter-protesters surrounded their ranks with chants including “Get your hate out of our state.”

Capitol Police kept distance between shouting clusters of advocates from each side and also summoned the State Police, who responded with five officers. State Police Lt. David P. Tikoian said there were no arrests.

Clearly, things got heated in Providence.

But what might get lost in the “shouting match” framing of the event is yet another NOM FAIL on turning out their supporters. As reported earlier, we counted 98 NOM supporters and 142 equality counter-protesters. Either way, it appears that we outnumbered them AGAIN. It will be interesting to see how Brian Brown spins his latest failure.

Meanwhile, a new member of our Courage Campaign Equality team just sent the following report:

Today in Providence, Brian Brown and the NOM bus tour were not met by rainbow-colored umbrellas, but rather by a sea of (mostly young) LGBT activists draped in red led by Queer Action Rhode Island. Together, they drowned out NOM’s chants of “one woman, one man” with a unified chorus chanting “2 women, 2 men….2 women, 2 men.”

Heather Curly from Queer Action Rhode Island shared the following anecdote about Brian Brown:

“After NOM’s rally was over, the state trooper came over to tell us that we should begin clearing our people out. Brian Brown was right behind him to confront us, egging the state trooper on, and saying very condescending things like ‘he’s right, you don’t belong here.’ And then a great thing happened. The state trooper turned around and told him that ‘if he approached our side again he would have to leave or be arrested’ – that he needed to clear his side out too. He got very irritated by that, I could tell.”

How long will Brian Brown last before he explodes? Only time will tell.

The counter-protest of 142 equality supporters were behind the NOM gathering before marching to the front of the NOM crowd and assembling on the steps of the Rhode Island State House. The scene was incredible – one that I will never forget. On Sunday, for close to an hour, Queer Action Rhode Island activists looked their opponents in the eye.

“We wanted to go head to head with them,” said Heather Curley from Queer Action Rhode Island. “I don’t care what NOM or the press will say the [attendance numbers are] – how they will spin it – but I was proud today. I think we had a powerful presence. I think we stood up to them. I think we irritated them and I think they lost their message a little bit today.”

Queer Action Rhode Island is no stranger to NOM. The volunteer-led organization first materialized after Chris Plant started a local NOM chapter and began promoting a protect marriage “Family Day.” One year later, the organization is going strong.

“We’ll be at this year’s Family Day to stage a counter-protest, as well. We have no plans to go away.”

More than ever, Rhode Island marriage equality supporters are feeling more optimistic about the state of marriage in their home state.

“We have a gay Speaker of the House, the [anti-equality] governor is term-limited an can’t re-run and all of the Democratic and Independent candidates are pro-marriage equality,” said Lauren Mullaney, a Providence, Rhode Island resident who attended the counter-protest. “I think as soon as we have a regime change, things will get better.”

This just in: Brian Brown just turned on the spin machine again on attendance. Check it out:

We had about 200-250 people show up for today’s rally outside the Rhode Island State House. A little while later, about 150 gay marriage protestors showed up in red shirts.

More to come, including photos and video from our team.

Meanwhile, if you’ve got links to share for the NOM Tour Tracker community from the Providence event (even if you posted them in other threads), include them in the comments to this thread. Thanks!

UPDATE: Our team on the ground is experiencing internet connection difficulties, which is preventing them from posting video right now. But we do have a mix of pictures here that we’ve collected from other sources. As more come in, I’ll keep updating the thread. If any of our intrepid commenters see pics or video elsewhere, please share them in the links!

In the comments, “Lesbians Love Boies” was the first to discover that NOM uploaded some pics of today’s event, including this provocative shot of Brian Brown in a shouting match with two equality protesters:


PamC (who was there) said the following in the comments about the context of that shouting match:

“First off, I want to clarify that NOM’s pictures lead with 2 folks from our side shouting–note that the steps behind (Ed note: Brown) are empty. I’m pretty sure this happened AFTER THE EVENT WAS OVER and we were all walking quietly away. No one got in their face during the event that I saw.”:

NOM’s Brian Brown claims that this incident happened during the event. The Providence Journal also just posted an article that describes confrontations, but not this particular confrontation.

Details are still sketchy, but we’ll clarify the truth as soon as we can get a definitive word. (NOTE: Our team was not present when this shouting match happened — they were apparently doing interviews elsewhere at the time — so they are unable to corroborate either side’s account of the timing).

UPDATE: In the comments, Vito Oliver confirms that he joined two other people in confronting Brian Brown at the podium and that it was during the event. Alan Bounville also confirms that he was involved. That, along with other evidence, appears to prove that the shouting match happened during the event.

If you would like to discuss what happened as well as the larger discussion about tactics that has evolved on this site since the first event in Maine on Wednesday, please join the comment thread and share your thoughts.

A wide shot of NOM’s rally:


Queer Action Rhode Island provided these pictures to the NOM Tour Tracker of LGBT rights counter-protesters walking to the NOM rally and assembling on the steps behind the event:



An iPhone shot of the equality protesters on the steps:


NOM supporters say a prayer for “homosexuals because they may have been injured during their youth”:


This is from the Providence Journal article linked at the top of this post. Their caption:

Two members of the National Organization for Marriage pray as a pro-same-sex-marriage protester waves the gay-rights rainbow flag above them.

UPDATE: PamC just posted the following report from Providence in the comments. Thanks Pam!

And we were at least 150 strong. When we marched in a straight line around the state house, we turned a corner, and looking back, a cheer went up when we all realized how many had attended!

NOM had a sound system & a microphone. We just had our voices. I heard a great many Rhode Islanders talking about the history they’ve had with the local chapter of NOM, and the emotional battles they’ve fought so far. They plan on taking this all the way to marriage equality by 2011. One of the leaders told us that this was the largest turnout their small state has ever had for their organization (Queer Action Rhode Island, who joined with Marriage Equality Rhode Island in this event-MERI, don’t you love it?)

Everyone around us was smiling while chanting. No one looked angry, all the signs/posters were positive.

Here’s a picture that Pam took of the counter-protesters assembled on the steps behind the NOM rally:


UPDATE: Dozens of pictures from the Providence event were just posted here.

UPDATE: ABC6 in Rhode Island just posted this 50-second TV news report.

UPDATE: Video in from our Courage team in Rhode Island that captures the counter-protest as well the two NOM supporters who were literally speaking in tongues about the “spirits of darkness, immorality” and their “agenda”:

Entry filed under: NOM Tour Tracker, Right-wing. Tags: , .

Nobody can count except Brian Brown and NOM Open Thread: Where the NOM tour is going next

341 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I have an idea for those of us in other cities/states.

    We could have ‘sister city sit-ins’ on our own city town hall steps during the marriage tour events. We would be one step closer even if only one person learns and stands with us because of these events.

    • 2. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      GOOD JOB LLB! Glad to have you with us!!!!

  • 3. Billy  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    “After NOM’s rally was over, the state trooper came over to tell us that we should begin clearing our people out. Brian Brown was right behind him to confront us, egging the state trooper on, and saying very condescending things like ‘he’s right, you don’t belong here.’ And then a great thing happened. The state trooper turned around and told him that ‘if he approached our side again he would have to leave or be arrested’ – that he needed to clear his side out too. He got very irritated by that, I could tell.”


    Take that, NOM.

    • 4. Straight Grandmother  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      Billy, thank you so much for being there and reporting back to us this great story. It put a huge smile on my face as i read it, huge Billy huge. Many many thanks.

  • 6. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Good God…

  • 7. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    They are spinning this so much…I’m surprised the world hasn’t dropped out of orbit…<3…Ronnie

  • 8. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Just subscribing

  • 9. Phil L  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Had Brian Brown been arrested I think it would have been absolutely hilarious. To say that it would completely tarnish the NOM tour is pretty well moot because it’s already a flop but I seriously doubt that they could spin their way out of the arrest.

    Though I’m sure he’d probably try to make it look like “persecution” and attempt to become some sort of martyr.

    • 10. Marlene  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:55 am

      Absolutely Phil!

      The religious reicht *loves* to portray themselves as martyrs, oppressed by the evil intolerant gays!

      If ol’ Brian had gotten arrested, look for him to make himself the equal of MLK and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.

  • 11. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    “After NOM’s rally was over, the state trooper came over to tell us that we should begin clearing our people out. Brian Brown was right behind him to confront us, egging the state trooper on, and saying very condescending things like ‘he’s right, you don’t belong here.’ And then a great thing happened. The state trooper turned around and told him that ‘if he approached our side again he would have to leave or be arrested’ – that he needed to clear his side out too. He got very irritated by that, I could tell.”

    That brought a big smile to my face :) I’ve known people that act like that (BB). Nothing like a little equality in response :)

    Love it.

  • 12. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    OT and very sad. Hate needs to stop NOW!

    “A gay couple who innocently made a late-night stop at a White Castle in Staten Island was among the latest in a skyrocketing number of hate crime victims in the city.”

    Read more:

    • 13. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      Personal rant & note to Brian Brown and all NOM supporters:

      The above event is why Brian Brown had people shouting in his face today. It’s because of Brown’s actions/hate speech (and others like him) — and the inaction of their followers to find true morals — that lead people to think it’s okay to harm/mame/kill individuals who are LGBT(and other alphabet letters).

      • 14. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

        But according to Brainless Brownshirt and his minions, there are NO hate crimes against LGBTQI’s unless they make a move on someone first. And when they are attacked “without provocation” it is a mugging or other robbery-based crime. Note to Brainless Brownshirt–Try telling that little fairy tale to someone who doesn’t know any better. those of us who have been there know the truth.

    • 15. Elsie  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      I’m from Staten Island. After a miserable, bully filled adolescence I got as far away from there as possible. It’s shocking that such a place exists so close to NYC.

  • 16. Straight Grandmother  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Lesians Love Boies posted this link to NOM’s pics.
    Is it just me or does the audience on the NOM side look almost entirely male? Oh and I think thier yellow Security Shirts are hilarious, a real hoot. I think that for the next counter protest our side should also have Security T-Shirts. Perhps ones that say, “No, I’m Security”

    • 17. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      SG: Oh and I think thier yellow Security Shirts are hilarious, a real hoot. I think that for the next counter protest our side should also have Security T-Shirts.

      Yeah – after all we’re there to oppress them, and therefore they need ‘security’ people :)

      We need the classic Star Trek ‘Redshirts’. Of course, they typically did not last long in any given episode, but would be a funny parody of their security (which I suspect is more for the media’s benefit than anything else :)

      • 18. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm

        My wife & I joked about being “red shirts” today, too. Only in Star Trek, that’s usually not a good thing!

    • 19. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      Hey, I don’t think the yellow shirt security is NOMs security.

      Looking at this picture ( ) you can see tell by Brian Brown forward leaning and the way his hair is rising that he is getting angry. Those security guys don’t look to happy with him. Look at the guy in Security facing Brian.

      • 20. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm

        I was there–the yellow shirts were NOM people. But they were kind of silly looking, not professional security folks at all.

      • 21. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm

        LLB: ‘Those security guys don’t look to happy with him. Look at the guy in Security facing Brian.

        True, he does seem focused on BB doesn’t he. Hmm.

        Perhaps someone who was there can provide some insight.

      • 22. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

        If it is NOMs own security, those guys are NOT approving of NOMs ways. That one security guys arms are crossed, he doesn’t look happy and is directing his body language towards Brian.

      • 23. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

        PamC: ‘I was there–the yellow shirts were NOM people. But they were kind of silly looking, not professional security folks at all.

        Yeah, they don’t really look very ‘fit’ :)

  • 24. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    NOMosexuality is a SIN!!!

    • 25. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      NOMos! Get off of HOMOs!

      • 26. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

        Actually I kind of like that name for them – NOMos :)

        I think I’ll start using that.

      • 27. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

        And I liked Felyx’s “NOMosexuals” as well :)
        In Greek, “nomos” (which usually is used without “us” to make up words, like astronomy) means “law”…  That’s what NOMosexuals are trying to do — make their NOMosexuality a law in our society, the only form of sexuality that, by law, deserves recognition, respect, protections, benefits and rights.  We ought to stop Radical NOMosexuals with their Radical NOMosexual Agenda!

      • 28. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm

        Kirille: Agreed :)

        NOMos, or NOMosexual activists.

        The radical NOMosexual agenda. :)

        Like it!

  • 29. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    The Storm has gathered….the storm fizzled out…

    Let Our Rainbow Shine!

  • 30. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Hi everyone! We’re back from Providence, tired, but happy. First off, I want to clarify that NOM’s pictures lead with 2 folks from our side shouting–note that the steps behind them are empty. I’m pretty sure this happened AFTER THE EVENT WAS OVER and we were all walking quietly away. No one got in their face during the event that I saw.

    And we were at least 150 strong. When we marched in a straight line around the state house, we turned a corner, and looking back, a cheer went up when we all realized how many had attended!

    NOM had a sound system & a microphone. We just had our voices. I heard a great many Rhode Islanders talking about the history they’ve had with the local chapter of NOM, and the emotional battles they’ve fought so far. They plan on taking this all the way to marriage equality by 2011. One of the leaders told us that this was the largest turnout their small state has ever had for their organization (Queer Action Rhode Island, who joined with Marriage Equality Rhode Island in this event-MERI, don’t you love it?)

    Everyone around us was smiling while chanting. No one looked angry, all the signs/posters were positive.

    I guess my stand on the silent/loud protest thing is, there is no one road to equality. The most popular chant was “get your hate out of our state”–people felt invaded, and I can tell you, New Englanders and especially Rhodies hate having other people telling them what they can and can’t do.

    I have some photos, is there some way I can send them to courage campaign?

    • 31. Eden James  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      Great report Pam!

      I’m going to append it to this post right now.

      Send me your pics at eden AT couragecampaign DOT ORG and I will upload them ASAP.

      Meanwhile, everyone, we’ve updated this thread with a bunch of other pictures. Please refresh the page to check them out.

      Eden w/ Courage

      • 32. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

        Thanks, Eden–but I’m second guessing the timing of the two who were shouting at Brian B. Just because we didn’t see it doesn’t mean it happened after we were there. It could have happened before we all gathered on the steps behind us.

      • 33. Eden James  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm

        Pam — I just off the phone with our team and added the following note to the thread:

        “NOM’s Brian Brown claims that this incident happened during the event. Details are sketchy, but we’ll clarify the truth as soon as we can get a definitive word. (NOTE: Our team was not present when this shouting match happened — they were apparently doing interviews elsewhere at the time — so they are unable to corroborate either side’s account of the timing).”

    • 34. Heather  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      Hey Pam,
      It was great meeting you and your wife today! I also am unsure of when the screaming occured. I believe some protesters may have gone up front while we were chanting on the grass but I am unsure. I do know that Brian got in several protester’s faces today. I just wish we had caught that on video. He definitely was trying to egg us on today. He was so upset with our Capitol Police for not stopping us from being there. He now wants to contact our homophobic Governor about it. The thing is I obtained a permit and had been in contact with the Capitol Police throughout the week. We really weren’t doing anything wrong. The State Police came and just stood there mainly at NOM’s request. But several times they had to talk to the NOM folks who were coming up to us speaking in tongue and convulsing. Yes there were some protesters that exchanged words with the NOM folks. But at the end of the day no one got hurt, arrested, and the world did not end. I would say the numbers were 148 to 92 still. Out of that 92 10 or so were protesters. We may have had more. Either way it was the most energized amazing crowd. Check our event on Facebook for photos and protesters experiences at the protest. RI is on fire right now…this gave us more energy! Here’s the link to the page:!/?ref=home

      And Pam if you are on FB friend me please! Great meeting you!

      • 35. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm

        Thanks, Heather! Cathy & I felt that energy all the way home; we kept saying what great people turned out, and how well you folks led it. I’ll find you on FB!

      • 36. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

        Thamk you for all our efforts… it was a tough JOB to handle.

      • 37. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

        PamC – would love it if you’d be willing to send a fb friend request my way – “Kathleen Perrin” look for my on the fb Prop 8 Trial Tracker page.

    • 38. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      An antiquated saying, BUT, you Go Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 39. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

        Thanks Ray–you go, too!!!

        You guys were inspiring! There were a lot of young faces there (Providence has several colleges), but a few of us old timers and some that I never would have pegged as supportive until they walked right up the steps to be with us. It’s really great to see how equality spans all ages, among other things. But very cool to march along with a fellow Streisand-admirer!! :)

      • 40. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

        Yes, there were some observers from NH in the RI Mall nearby who had the nerve to join in our side and converse… at one point I politely asked them if they lived in a hole. ? I set them ‘straight’ on a lot of points and they agreed that our treatment is blatantly “unfair”.

        “In NH we allow same sex marriage and everything is fine there!, what’s up with RI?!?!”

        I responded:”but we don’t get Federal Marriage benefitsI”

        “yes they do!” he replied, I said “NOPE” and his wife conceded, “no hey don’t!, Honey!” He looked puzzled and it went on from there…

        One victory at a time…

      • 41. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm

        These conversations reap exponential benefits. This is one more person who is going to think a bit more next time he votes on a rights issue – and will very likely have conversations with others – ripple effects from our interactions that it’s impossible to fully predict.

    • 42. Vito Oliver  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      The shouting incident DID happen during the protest. I should know; I’m the guy in the blue shirt.

      • 43. Bolt  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

        Kudos to you for raising hell!

      • 44. Rikaishi  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:06 am

        No kudos. The idea is to show that a hell of a lot of people disagree, and if given the opportunity present our arguments, in a civil manner, as to why they are wrong. We don’t want to be getting in their faces, getting angry, hating on them or preventing them from voicing their opinion, no matter how delusional or deceitful that opinion is.

        It’s bad in principle, because by disrupting their homophobic love-in you were trampling on the right to free expression, and it’s bad press because it supports their propaganda about the LGBT community.

        I’m loving the protests that have been staged so far, but organizers must do everything they can to make sure incidents like this don’t happen.

      • 45. Vito J. Oliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:25 am


        the idea of a counter-protest is to confront the other side. The idea of protesting is to confront what is bothering you. Your basic premise is flawed on this basis. We did the very idea of what a protest and what counter-protesting is about. We got in their face, we got our message out, and we did what needed to be done. I don’t really need your kudos because I did it for our cause.

      • 46. Phillip R  |  July 19, 2010 at 7:12 am

        I agree with Rikaishi. I think it’s counter productive to get in shouting matches with a side that revels in how they are just protecting marriage from the evil homosexuals. All it does is feed into that. Regardless of whether you agree with their opinions, they’ve got the same rights to peaceful protests, etc.

  • 47. Straight Grandmother  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    So I went ont he NOM blog and read their take
    Of course Brian would like everybody to be quiet so he can spit out his hatred. Of course he objects and slants it, of course he does. The finniest part though is his numbers. I cna’t wait to see his video, I would love to hear that dicussion.

    Tuesday is the next protest in Trenton NJ. Anyone here going?

    • 48. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      I might be going, trying to find out if there’s an organized counter protest planned….<3…Ronnie

      • 49. NJSteve  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

        On Tuesday July 20, Garden State Equality will co-host a “Town Hall Meeting” supporting marriage equality in the NJ State House Annex, 125 W. State St, Trenton, NJ beginning at 11:30 AM in Committee Room 6. Parking is hard to find — I suggest the Marriott parking garage, 125 Lafayette St, a few blocks from the State House (or take NJTransit). Bring ID (for State House entry). GSE events are always packed and filled with excitement. Hope you can make it!

    • 50. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      Yep. They (the NOMo’s) are very good at what they do.

      See the various quotes in BB’s blog message – BB: Theirs is a message of intolerance and hatred…

      See what he did there?


      Have to admire his savvy at media manipulation. BB: ‘At one point when I was at the microphone, I was physically surrounded by three people trying to shout me down as Capitol Police did nothing.

      Ah, victim-hood.

      I’m beginning to wonder if we’re being played like a fiddle :)

      Guess it depends on whether anyone else (non-NOMo’s) are buying it.

  • 51. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    So, Brian lost his cool in public this time, and not just in an email? I can’t help but laugh!

    • 52. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      Lost his control so early in his tour,,,ths could get VERY interesting.

  • 53. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm


    Try contacting Garden State Equality:

    Either at their statewide headquarters in Montclair or the legislative office in Trenton.

    • 54. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      thanks Kathleen…I look into it…<3…Ronnie

      • 55. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        I”m just sorry I”m not out there to join you. My son is no longer in NJ, but Brooklyn is still plenty close. If I were there, I’d love to ride down together. Besides, I always like an excuse to visit the Trenton City Museum. Trenton was a significant center for American ceramics. Right now, the TCM has a great Fulper/Stangl Pottery exhibit!

    • 56. NJSteve  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm

      On Tuesday July 20, Garden State Equality will co-host a “Town Hall Meeting” supporting marriage equality in the NJ State House Annex, 125 W. State St, Trenton, NJ beginning at 11:30 AM in Committee Room 6. Parking is hard to find — I suggest the Marriott parking garage, 125 Lafayette St, a few blocks from the State House (or take NJTransit). Bring ID (for State House entry). GSE events are always packed and filled with excitement. Hope you can make it!

      • 57. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:38 pm

        Thanks NJSteve….Do you know if they will be going to counter protest against NOM?…& will be ok if I bring my dog? He probably will not be allowed in the building. I don’t know the building policy. If you don’t know that answer, I guess I can call GSE & the building. anyway thanks for the information.


  • 58. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Brian’s slanted piece takes the capitol police to task more than once (he doesn’t mention the state troopers who were there & very polite to everyone). I think he’s steaming about the threat they made re: arresting him.

  • 59. rf  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Congratulations to my homestate of Rhode Island! My bf and I are hoping to make it to trenton but its not looking good. why can’t they do this stuff on the weekends? i guess all they really care about is press coverage not who shows up.

    • 60. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      You don’t want them near you…trust me.

  • 61. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Another implied falsehood on the NOM site– Brian B. repeats that they had a permit to be there. Well, the organizers in RI had a permit to protest as well. There were police near us at all times, no one spoke to us until it was time to leave.

    • 62. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      Again, thanks for being there, and for being here to provide a somewhat more truthful perspective on the rally.

  • 63. Sagesse  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Chart from Nate Silver of the population of countries that have marriage equality. Note the spike in 2008 for California… there are as many people in California as there are in Argentina.

  • 64. rf  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Don’t know if you are contacting the media or just letting it happen at these events (as they cover NOM) but NJN, NJ’s only tv station is right down the street from the statehouse so perhaps giving them a spin on the story before nom gets there might be worthwhile. Also, you can bribe anyone in NJ to do anything for a slice of Trenton tomato pie. just saying…

    • 65. NJSteve  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      Garden State Equality, and its leader Steven Goldstein, are very media savvy. You can be sure they have notified press about the counter-event; and NOM and the NJ Catholic Bishops have certainly notified all their press contacts about the events as well.

  • 66. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    The Gay Agenda sign in the picture read:

    I. Family time
    II. Equal Rights
    III. Do Laundry

    • 67. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      That was my facvrite SIGN OF THE DAY!

    • 68. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm


      I wasn’t sure about the 3rd one on that sign. Beautiful!

  • 69. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Ok this is what I got from Garden State Equality FB page…

    Room change on Tuesday: Join Garden State Equality at the State House in Trenton at 11:30 am this Tuesday, July 20th as we counter the National Organization for Marriage’s annual State House rally. Our event is now Tuesday at 11:30 am in Committee Room 6 of the State House Annex, changed from Committee Room 1. After, lunch is on us. Spread the word! If you have an Equality The American Dream t-shirt, please wear it.

    I’m not sure if that just a meeting place then they are going to the NOM rally…but I’m going to see if there is another organization or group planning something…My Mom also said she would call out of work to go…how cool is that?


    • 70. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      I love that your mom is going. My wife’s mom wanted us to call before we went, when we were there, and on our way home. She told Cathy: “It’s ok if you get arrested, just don’t get hit with a billy club!” Love her.

    • 71. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      That’s so great your mom is going, Ronnie. The NOM event is scheduled for 12 noon to 1pm. It sounds like GS Equality may just be meeting at 11:30 to arrive at the protest area as a group.

      • 72. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm

        That’s what I figured…any ideas for a sign for my Mom & my dog, Woody (if I choose to bring him)


      • 73. Dpeck  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm

        Hi Ronnie,

        Your mom needs huge sign that says:


      • 74. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:57 am

        If you bring Woody, you may have a sign about your dog…
        Something like:
        My dog is not here for intimidation! Woody just supports marriage equality!
        You know, to rebut their claims that we bring dogs to scare them…

      • 75. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

        What Kirille said, Ronny — especially since everyone knows that long-haired chihuahuas are almost as vicious as aged black Labs. ;->


    • 76. NJSteve  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      GSE generally has a policy of non-engagement with the other side. As other posters have noted above, Brown and other NOM leaders are expert at playing the victim, and we are better off not supplying them with ammunition. I expect GSE will be putting on another large, raucous, and positive event showing the strength and enthusiasm of our supporters, and showcasing the hypocrisy of NOM. The only people at the NOM rally will be their small coterie of supporters and a few press members, so the real battle will take place in the press, not on the streets.

  • 77. Dave in Maine  |  July 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm


  • 78. Dave in Maine  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Take at look at the NOM Flick page and check out IMG_0453: and here:

    What is up with the sign that shows the man + woman = “one big lie”??? And the woman that has the “No Bush” shirt? What the hell are they trying to accomplish with this? And chanting “2 men 2 women”? We aren’t pushing for the gay marry-we are pushing for marriage equality. This seems to be more of the turn off action than the winning hearts and minds action.

    Dave in Maine

    • 79. Rikaishi  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:31 am

      Note the man + woman are unhappy, reference to the problem of gay men and women entering het marriages due to society’s pressure to be “normal”.

      I get it because I understand the issue, and it probably made sense to the protester because he (I’m guessing) had to live through it, but it would probably go straight over the head of your average nomo.

      The chant was probably just a heat of the moment thing, “equality for all” or somesuch might have worked better.

  • 80. Dave in Maine  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    “I’m pretty sure this happened AFTER THE EVENT WAS OVER and we were all walking quietly away. No one got in their face during the event that I saw.”

    Maybe it’s been said already in this thread (I’ve had a long day and now am having a few Captain Morgan’s with coke!) but this is exactly why we should NOT engage like this. Whatever the reality is behind the photo, they now have this photo of two angry homosexuals yelling and shouting at poor Mr. Brown who’s just trying to exercise his freedom of speech.

    Dave in Maine

    • 81. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Poor. That man is paid a fortune by NOMs followers.

      Or poor – as in woe is me. Mr Brown is not in woe. He thinks of himself as WOW in me.

      • 82. Dave in Maine  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

        Yeah, they’ve got money to burn. I still can’t believe the obscene tons of money they throw around all over the country.

        It’s been said before, but MAN, imagine they could do with all this money!


      • 83. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm

        My wife (Master’s in Business) is currently net-researching NOM’s finances. Brian makes over 130,000 dollars in reported earnings.

    • 84. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Be there… the frenzy can get intense… amzing that that this was the worst of it.

    • 85. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      Dave–I’m saddened by the picture as well. But the thing is, there is no controlling every single person who shows up at a protest. The organizers did their level best to channel all our energy to stay as a group, and to stay away from NOM. I really want to emphasize that!

      And NOM is going to find & exploit photos like this no matter what we do. We can’t NOT invite folks to join in a rally just because we’re afraid of some people acting too angrily or too rowdy. I never condone violence or hateful words, and the leaders explicitly stated “do not engage, do not get angry or call names.” And people tried to intervene & break up the ruckus. Of course, you may say the damage was already done. But the big picture says otherwise–providence TV and newspapers focused on the 2 men speaking in tongues, and noted that we chanted “get your hate out of our state.” So we came out looking pretty good in the msm, overall.

      You gave great advice, Dave. It’s upsetting when people ignore good advice. But I’m not sure this kind of thing is entirely preventable, particularly when the numbers are well above 100. Albany’s protest went off so smoothly in part due to their small group.

      • 86. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm

        @PamC: ‘You gave great advice, Dave. It’s upsetting when people ignore good advice. But I’m not sure this kind of thing is entirely preventable, particularly when the numbers are well above 100. Albany’s protest went off so smoothly in part due to their small group.

        And even in Albany then they managed to gin up some imagined offense (The evil homo attack-dogs, and preventing a poor mother from feeding her child).

        It’s not entirely preventable, and no matter what you do, they’re going to make up some shit about it. That’s really the purpose behind this whole NOMosexual tour of theirs. Public Relations.

        Like others have expressed, I wish I could’ve been there!

      • 87. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm

        Intense emotions and Frenzy are a serious part. You have to be there to understand. Takes some nerve to attend.

      • 88. Dave in Maine  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm

        Ha! Speaking in tongues! That’s great!

        Yes, that’s a good point. Some people are just so angry that it gets the best of them. I’ve seen it here in Maine and it’s certainly something I can understand. My boyfriend has heard it from my own mouth countless times!

        Dave in Maine

      • 89. Sagesse  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm

        We here may have opinions, and good ones, but Providence points out that the local organizers also have their priorities. New Hampshire won their fight, and it’s probably not going to resurface. Maine lost theirs and will be back, but not right away. New York lost a round, but are still working it. Rhode Island is gearing up for a major battle next year, and they and NOM have clashed before. The tone of the protest in each location reflects those realities, particularly in Providence today.

        NOM picked each of these locations for a reason. Their targets so far, and Trenton, are easy to figure, some of the later ones, not so much. There’s a vote brewing in Minnesota, but Florida?

      • 90. Vito Oliver  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm


        I think you’re completely wrong here. Really, this is turning into a pissing match when we all did something today and it was great. Who cares who is in the picture. It is a powerful picture of people standing up for what is right. I have organized and been in protest where not a single picture of me is posted and I don’t care because it isn’t about me.

        I’m sorry, I think standing behind NOM 200 ft was not effective. We went to the front to just stand in front of them and then myself and two other queer rising members just had a moment of synergy and our thoughts merged and we did it. It was not premediated and I’m sorry that you feel that we over shadowed your protest. But, hey, it got our message out and it got people up. A little while later, you all moved to the front. So, who cares? This isn’t a pissing contest.

      • 91. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

        Vito–I can’t help that you believe I am “completely wrong” — I certainly don’t believe you are completely wrong. I admire your energy very much, and as I’ve said elsewhere, if the local leadership had said “get in their faces” I would have, as would my wife.

        The only reason the photos are important is that the Providence Journal put 2 photos up, one of the RI protestors and one of you two. I think you stole their thunder somewhat, because it would have been more empowering to the local movement if the caption for the photo had listed RI people, not out-of-towners. As it is, it may seem to many that Brown & NOM and out-of-state people came to RI to fight. Which may undermine the local people’s realizing that this is about their neighbors.

        We can disagree, but I don’t think either of us are “completely wrong.”

      • 92. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:28 am

        From my reading,a nd perhaps I misunderstood, it seemed as if you were saying the way in which we handled ourselves is wrong. That our way of going about it was wrong. I was disagreeing with you, albeit more harsh then I should have been.

        I completely understand your point about stealing your thunder. However, it happened.

        I think both types ofa ction have their validity. Sometimes we need to get in their face and sometimes we need to stand on the side lines. In this instance, i think getting in their face was the best. Had it been RI’ers, fine. But on the same token, they’re a national group and we represented the region in which they’re spreading their hate.

  • 93. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Again, notice in the picture of the “praying in tongues freaks (above), that there is a Rainbow Flag behind them…. that’s how close the exchange was. Very intense… amazing we all kept our cool.

    How many of you remember the icon photo of the Kent State shootings? (we came very close to a similar image)

    • 94. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      I remember it well.

  • 95. Mark M  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    This is just killing me to not be out there with all you wonderful brave ‘friends’/’family’ !
    I am SO pissed they are not coming close enough for us to get truly involved like so many of you. I truly feel like I am missing out on a historic event in our history.

  • 96. Ron  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Our side needs to get a bunch of loud bullhorns!!! Don’t let the bigots drown our voices of truth and love out with their hate and lies!!! Get the bullhorns!

    • 97. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      and make sure you\’re attempt at compeiting noise is up wind… we had that problem in PVD.

    • 98. Bolt  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      I would suggest an air horn. They fit in the palm of your hand, less than $20, and can be purchased at a boat supply store. Most importantly, they’re obnoxiously loud, but not as obnoxious as having our right to get married voted away.

    • 99. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:53 am

      Yup I agree, of course you know we are in the minority on this board LOL.

  • 100. jc  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    after months of reading articles on here and, i’ve really become saddened, sickened and depressed. all the hatred that is not so well hidden toward homosexuals really has been bringing me down but i keep reading because i know this is all about the fight where this will be a memory.

    on that note, these postings regarding NOM’s tour have cheered my heart and soul immensely! seeing not only the turn out for our ‘side’, but to actually see their ‘side’s’ turnout is truly so poor. reading the negative articles can make one lose perspective and feel like everyone hates us and is fighting us..thank goodness for these past few days! i have a better view of things! thanks for all the good work being done!!

    • 101. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      I’ve been around the block…the PP8TT is a uniques blog… good comunity free of trolls.

    • 102. Mark M  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      Big Hugs JC!! We love you and are all in this together! Stay positive and keep the faith!!

    • 103. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      I second Ray and Mark’s statements. This has been a great community to be a part of.

      The occasional h8r drops in from time to time, but they always leave eventually :)

      Don’t let the bastards grind you down JC!


  • 104. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    The article leave a lot to be desired…but the photo is fantastic.

  • 105. Mark M  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Can you all believe what another frequent poster on this site had the nerve to tell me regarding my personal struggle for marriage equality…..

    “But that is adult to adult, they can enter into private legally binding agreements as my daughter has with her spouce. This is not the same thing as needing to protect children.”

    Doesn’t that sound a hell of a lot like the crap NOM and all the other H8ers are saying????
    I’m not sure this so called ‘friend and ally’ is who and what they claim to be.

    • 106. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm

      Hey Mark. SG is in a very different time zone than any of us in the US and I give her the benefit of doubt. She gets frustrated because we are getting news of events when she normally would be sleeping and has been staying up later just to be able to converse with us on the events.

      She has ‘her’ stake in our battle. Give her some unconditional love.


      • 107. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm


      • 108. Mark M  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

        Can you please explain to me how her time zone has anything at all to do with how amazingly rude and disrespectful she has been to me.
        And I want it stated that I’m not the one to have mentioned names here :-)
        And sadly…at my age my unconditional love comes with conditions LOL

      • 109. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:03 pm

        Mark, that’s your prerogative. I am just saying that SG has been a good ally of ours in that past…so I am willing to cut her some slack.

        By timezone I mean when it’s 4pm here, it’s past her bedtime and it can get frustrating. I know because during the prop 8 trial those that lived in other countries tried to be here. When it’s late sometimes there is a tendency to get overheated (for lack of a better term.)

        I am not saying you don’t have a good argument. I am just stating that I am willing to cut her some slack. She has been quite nice through the months I have known her.

        I have gotten heated…as have others…for numerous reasons. None could go unnoticed…but we all forgave in the morning and we are all still friends now.

        We fight, we clench, we spit on our monitors and keyboards…and yet we all will find tomorrow to be filled with yet another day spent with our friends.

        See, I am getting tired and babbling.

        Mazel Tov

    • 110. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      I’m willing to cut her a lot of slack wrt her impatience re updates, etc. But I don’t think there’s any excuse for the entirely disrespectful way she responded to Mark’s discussion of what’s at stake here for him vs how her own feelings were soooo much more valid than his own.

      Mark, I hope you know that I am just as offended as you appear to be.

      • 111. Mark M  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

        I cut her no slack Kathleen…what she has said to me is not forgivable. I am DONE with her.

      • 112. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

        Kathleen my “feelings” are not soooooooo much more valid than Marks, I am sure Mark wants to get legally married he has done it 3 times already apparantly ceremonially. My family will benefit “more” our minor children will benefit (as will anyone else similarly situated). This is my point and apparently I did not previously express that in a clear way. I hope it is now perfectly clear. Geesh talk about ripping me a new one…

    • 113. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:43 am

      Mark, you are perfectly free to feel about me however you wish. The fact is you continually pushed back on me with a different point of view on the best way to protest. This is now the second time you have come out and personally attacked me accusing me of being a h8ter. Once on the other thread and now again several threads later you personally attack me yet again.

      Yes I am frustrated and yes I do know we are all NOT similarly situated. I am just going to cover this one more time and then ignore you and also Kathleen who has also read much more into what I wrote. It seems like we have all done a very good job of insulting each other and what does that accomplish? I hurt your feelings? Well you hurt mine.

      This is my last time so please pay attention. Not just Mark but anyone who is happily living with their love and longing to be married has a stake in this fight, and thier families have a stake.

      However others are situated differently.
      1-The love of their life may be in another country and they are not able to even be together with them just cohabitating.

      2-I myself am legally seperated by law in the law from my grandchildren. Many of you have children and the state has maintined your legal connection to your childdren, in other words the state has not in a legal sense cut your legal tie to your children. If you can imagine the state doing that to you then you can understand my intense anger at the curent laws. And children ARE in a different catagory than adults, this is not a NOM issue it is a child issue, both straight and gya have children. Only with SSM will my daughter be able to become the legal parent and as such our grandchildren will be granted dual nationality both French and American as both my children are. This gives my grandchildren a whole other set of rights, French Rights, and actually European rights also. Once my daughter is their legal parent if she should die (God forbid) our grandchildren would recieve state benefits on both sides of the pond. Anyone similarly situated to our family with children that they are not allowed to equally be legal parents of gets much more rights through SSM than couples without children. They are in the fight for themselves and their children.

      3- People may have a partner with severe health problems and SSM marriage will allow them to cover their partner with insurance.

      Just 3 examples. You have to remember the context of our discussion, the context was the better way to protest, Silent Win them Over, or Direct Action. My point was, and is, that people in catagories 1 – 3 may have a more urgent vested interest in instituiting gay marriage and thus *prefer* Direct Action. Urgent is the operative word here. And also that they will receive more benefits, urgently needed benefits. Couples who have a person in poor health, serious health problems, now because of SSM, are able to get healthcare based on their partners employment this is huge and a much bigger benefit than an ordinary gay couple in good health where both are working and both have health insurance. The collective WE are differently situated.

      I did not mean, and if anyone took it that way I sincerely apologize, that your interest was LESS than my interest. Our interest is the same. I do mean that some people have more urgent needs and will reap more benefits than just an ordinary gay couple who currently live together who wish to marry. SSM will join couples who are currently in different countries. So although your family, and my family, would each benefit from SSM we would benefit differently and some more than others, I am more for Direct Action as I think that will get me what I want sooner, and you are not. You are entitiled to your opinion as am I. People in 1- 3 (well at least me) are more impatient for change now is all. It is true when SSM is law some people will benefit mroe than others.

      Mark a lot of people disagreed with me and said Direct Action is not the way to go, in fact the majority said that. For whatever reason the way you posted and the repetitivness of your posts riled me up into a white heat, as I do not agree with the way you feel an effective protest should go. And I in turn posted right back. And you just won’t give it up, you are right back at me on another thread, several threads later. The facts remain unchanged we are differently situtated, what is the big deal in that?? I have made this one last unemotional strictly the facts post to finish your personal attacks on me. This personal infighting does not benefit the cause we both believe in. I am positive you will respond to this and I will let you have the last word, you seem to need it.

      • 114. Mark M  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

        Well since you offer me the last word I’ll take it ….even though you offered it in a rude and snotty way.
        I understand you feel your situation is more important than ‘ an ordinary gay couple wanting to marry’…my problem with you is how easily you assume things about people you have never met and know nothing about.
        You so offhandedly suggest we could just ‘sign legal paperwork’ and be fine…that is EXACTLY what people like NOM have been saying. ‘ You don’t need SSM, you just need legal paperwork”….so yes I called you a hater since you are spouting the same crap they are.
        And than you go on to assume we do not fit into your categories 1-3…based on what do you assume this?
        I guess because I didn’t mention our health issues you just decided for us that we did SSM as ‘urgently’ as your daughter does….again because of your own assumptions. I’ll be sure and let my husbands oncologist know to calm down SG says we are in good health and can relax about our future.
        You have the right to feel attacked by me if you wish as I have no control over how you feel…BUT I don’t consider what I’ve said to be an attack. The way you have chosen to dismiss my/our need as nothing more than an emotional need to marry is EXACTLY what the H8ers say…so you have to admit calling you such was not at all off base. I also wish to point out that I did not mention your name on this thread. I mentioned your words on this thread in order to show others what one of our ‘Allys’ thinks of Marriage Equality.

        I hope in the end we all get what we want/need/deserve

  • 115. Bolt  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    New news on the NOM rally in Rhode Island. The NOM crowd are wacky. The equality supporters were approached by a NOM.

    “I love you,” one man with the National Organization for Marriage said as he walked toward his opponents with open arms. Later, he and another group member linked their arms and began passionately praying for the devil to leave their adversaries.

    Their behavior is crazy obsessive. The opponents of marriage equality live truly vapid lives. Check it out.

  • 116. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Father Codega, we’ll let you know if you’re a bigot…

    Look at the NUMBERS!!!!! this is the same Newpspaper in RI that claimed something way different… WTF??!?!?

    WTF? Who ya gonna believe????

    • 117. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

      Ray I also thought that the journalist wrote an unbalanced report and sent he/him and e-mail to that effect. They quoted 5 NOM people and 1 Equality person in the article.

      I am so glad you were there. Did this protest invigorate you, did it want to make you participate more if the chance arises? Or no?

  • 118. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    and this is what NOM wants for publicity:

    We look bad.. they look like saints:

    Be careful!!!

    • 119. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      Actually, they don’t look upstanding in those photos. Brian’s body language will be analyzed for many years from these photos. I think it will be a good study for psych majors.

    • 120. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      NOM has no place to play to the victim go to Freedom Fighters for Equality we have screenshots of all the photos from RI taken today that are posted on “Protect Marriage:One Man One Woman”….

      almost every photo has comments advocating & promoting murder in violence towards LGBT people…

      They will never be the victims as long as they allow this on their pages….. > ( ……Ronnie:

      • 121. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:57 am

        Go Ronnie!!! You might just pass along those screen shots to the newspapers and tv stations a few days before NOM hits their towns. Go Freedom Fighters for Equality!!!!

    • 122. Mackenzie  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      OMG the fact that he thinks that their campaign is one of tolerance and respect……I need to go take some tylenol before my head implodes on itself.

  • 123. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Here are some pictures from Queer Action for Rhode Island’s Facebook member:

    check out #54 & 55…….!

    • 124. Ray in MA  |  July 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      I don’t know how this fits in, but…I just recalled…

      I left at app 2:50 PM. Just before that, the guy pictured in the shouting match came over to our area and yelled something to the affect:

      “We’re not going to get anywhere acting like this!!!”

      “We’re not going to get equality by doing this!!!”

      and he re-joined our posture facing them from behind.

      I thought to myself WTF was that all about?

      He seemd VERY frustrated.

      It may have been a pre-cursor to his confrontation on the way out.?

      As I mentioned before, these situations are very frenzied and people can act in the heat of the moment

      I had to catch myself at one point.

      • 125. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

        I read somewhere that the 2 in the shouting match were from NYC. They had their own idea of protesting, but they weren’t the local leaders.

  • 126. Mykelb  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    These NOMrs hate us because we are honest about who we are and they can’t be because of their childish belief system and bowing to archaic paternalistic mythology. They hate us because, in our hearts, we are free and they are not. The conflict caused internally in these people between reality and their belief system causes them to hate anyone who is not like them. How dare we free ourselves of their religious terrorism? They believe they are superior to us and can tell us how to live because of their belief in a mythological sky gawd and six lines in a book written over 5000 years ago for nomadic jews. They hate us for our freedom.

  • 127. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    One of the videos from the news stations is posted (couldn’t find embed code) it’s on the right side of the page…

  • 128. Matthew  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Yell all you want guys. But please please don’t get violent. No throwing things and no physical taunting or finger poking.

    If they want to get physical give them a little bit of their Jesus rhetoric and turn the other cheek. Let them destroy their credibility on their own.

    This isn’t stonewall. It’s a peaceful (albeit hate filled) gathering. Maybe a big group can chain themselves to the NOM bus. That would make awesome photos for the history books.

    • 129. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      I thought of a funny thing (don’t do it though) but it would be funny to take real gays/lesbians/trannies/etc and superglue us on top of their pics on the bus. I am tired but laughed when I thought about it.

      But, after they peal you off the bus, you’d go ‘straight’ to jail.

    • 130. JonT  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:17 am

      @Matthew: ‘Maybe a big group can chain themselves to the NOM bus.

      Hmmm… Don’t know. Their security force looks pretty formidable.


      • 131. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:02 am

        JonT- LOL …Ha-Ha

    • 132. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:32 am

      Right On Mathew! (Oh I know I just dated myself but I don’t know the current equivelent) I agree with you 100%. Now is not the time to get arrested, we should hold off on that for DC (hee-hee)

  • 133. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Nom has a new vid up

    and they spin and spin and spin and surprisingly get video!

    • 134. JonT  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:21 am

      “…It’s not fair, your being mean to us, you’re hurting our feelings…”

      That’s their characterization of our position regarding marriage equality?

      How pathetic.

      • 135. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:22 am

        When I heard that, I thought: “They are trying to infantilize us, make us seem childish and whining, petty, not giving us respect due to adults.” Much of what the religious right does is to reduce our status to less than adult and/or less than human. That’s been part of every war.

  • 136. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Here’s an awesome music video of today to counter theirs:

    • 137. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      Great Video! Thank you for posting it!

      • 138. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:58 pm

        The “Equal Marriage” sign at the end was drawn by my wife this morning before we left! I’m so proud!

      • 139. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

        Nice! I’m so proud of all of you.

    • 140. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:29 am

      PamC GREAT GREAT GREAT Video. Thank you again so much for you and your wife being there. You are an inspiration to me.

  • 141. PamC  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    from lezgetreal:

    NOM Travels Through New York To Get To Rally In Rhode Island

    07/18/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
    “One man, one woman” lost on the road to Providence. Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage took the long way to get to Rhode Island pulling off what must have been something akin to Odysseus getting lost on his way across the Aegean to Ithaca. Of course, had they continued on their way past Albany, they probably would have reached Ithaca. . .New York.

    Indeed, yesterday, NOM president Brian Brown was kvetching on Twitter about how, on the way to Albany, NY, his bus was cut off by a New Yorker who made a rude gesture. Today, he was in Providence, RI facing more than 175 counter protesters while he managed to garner somewhere between 100 and 150. Their “Summer of Marriage” tour, so far, has managed to get somewhere close to 250 people to show up in three states and wandered through Vermont or Massachusetts into New York, through Massachusetts or Connecticut in order to get to Rhode Island.

    Of course, those traditional marriage husbands just won’t stop for directions, will they?

    NOM’s protesters were drowned out by a ring of counter protesters supporting same-sex marriage and chanting “Get your hate out of our state.” So far, the “Summer of Marriage” has not gotten the same kind of reception as the “Summer of Love”.

    There were no arrests as police kept both groups from mingling. Brian Brown told his supporters “I want to thank you all for coming out even in the face of this.” This, being of course, the calls of him and his people being bigots, homophobes, liars, and anything but supporting true traditional marriage which was once defined as being where a man had primacy over his wife, women had no rights, and whites and blacks were not allowed to get married. After all, being a homophobe is bad enough, being a racist, and misogynist is another kettle of fish.

    They were lead off by Brian Brown chanting “One man! One woman!”

    There were no reports of him getting lost on the way to the bus. Or for that matter, any of his tires being slashed mysteriously by some lesbian or gay person who does not exist and cannot be seen anywhere.

  • 142. Joey  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Those people at the podium came from out of state. They are the same group of people that chained themselves to the White House fence. They have a different way of doing things and believe in civil disobedience. The leaders of the group that were running it had no idea they were coming and asked that we remain a certain number of feet back. Those people instead ran up to the podium. i could tell leaders from our end were unsure on what to do. Do we fight our own in front of NOM? Imagine how that would have been. No one knew they yelled at the podium like that until we turned the news on tonight. We were back chanting at least 200 ft away at that time. It was shocking to see the news only focus on those 3 individuals. I’m not sure how this affects RI’s image to the rest of the community and opponents. Thoughts?

    • 143. Vito Oliver  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      Seriously? I can say this, we never went up there to storm the podium. We merely walked up to stand in front with our flags and one thing lead to another. If anything, I think the action and all aspects made the protest better. Protesting 200 ft behind NOM was great but didn’t really do it. It wasn’t until you all came and joined us at the stoop and faced NOM down that I feel that it was really effective. It’s easier to tune out what is behind you, but not what is in front of you.

    • 144. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:04 am


      My thoughts: I came from out of state with my wife to lend our voices and support to the action. I think it’s important for as many people to join in as possible; however, I think it’s equally important to respect the local action leaders. We were asked to make noise & chant, but stay out of their faces. When we come from out of state, our support is subordinate to the local leaders. If they wanted me in the opposition’s face, I would have been there! But they specifically set their own guidelines, and we respected their guidelines.

  • 145. Vito Oliver  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:21 pm


    I haven’t read through the comments but I wanted to clarify. The shouting match happened DURING the protest. Actually, right when we marched around I and a few others marched around. I had the intention of standing in front of them with just my flag. One tthing lead to another and two other”guests” of QA-RI from Queer Rising NYC and I (also a QR-NYC guest) got into the shouting match. It was not our intention but we are not regretful. I assure you this happened at the very beginning of the protest when Brian was giving his speech and not after.

    • 146. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:27 am

      Vito–I stand corrected. I just didn’t see you folks.

    • 147. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:38 am

      I am not going to judge you nor the others who were right at the podium. Honestly I might have done that myself. I believe I do recognize the gal from GetEqual, I think her name is Robin. You know what, if it were not for GetEqual we would not even be as close as we are to getting DADT passed. So maybe they just know a little bit more about protesting than the rest of us think we do.

      I like GetEqual they seem to be getting the job done and for a birthday gift last month my son made a donation to them as a gift to me. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received from him.

  • 148. alanbounville  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    It was amazing to be there today – and yes – three of us counter protesters did scream into the mike while he was speaking – and we were able to drown out some of his vicious lies.

    This is a fight – not a conversation – every day we don’t have equal rights – WE DON’T HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS!

    • 149. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:22 am

      Yes and this Straight Gandmother strongly supports you!!! You did what your name states, you “RISE UP” That’s is what I’m talking about. I was so overjoyed to see this group in pictures you cannot comprehend how happy it makes me. This type of protest denies NOM the ability to own the podium. And not only that it invigorates the Equality Troops. For me, standing silent is just not all that uplifting, it doesn’t make me want to go out and march the next time. It was totally invigorating for me to see others put into action that which I myself would do if I was in the states. Thank you Sooooooo so much. I will be contacting your group to aid in a small way.

  • 150. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    @Vito Oliver and alanbounville, thanks so much for coming forward and telling the truth, welcome to the site,

  • 151. alanbounville  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I smell a HUGE counter protest in DC at the last stop on NOM’s hate tour – and I smell some true civil disobedience in the air. Hmm…..

  • 152. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    wanna tell us more, what would this HUGE counter protest look like, and which organizations would turn up tell us a bit about Queer Rising NYC ,

  • 153. alanbounville  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Well – first – if this energy continues – it is very real WE – all of us could create a ground swell to meet NOM head on in DC. And with that – we could have multiple components to our counter action – some that include safe counter protesting – and some where arrest-risk could play a part.

  • 154. Vito Oliver  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm


    Sure! You can find out more information about our group’s past actions at:

    But I don’t want to overshadow this protest by talking about QR-NYC. Queer Action in Rhode Island put on a great counter protest and they should be applauded and given all due credit. They had things very well organized.

    As far as D.C., well I think we’re going to try and put something together and reach out to other groups. I’m sure other groups in the area have something planned so before we say anything we’ll have to reach out and find out who is planning stuff and how we can help. If you have any question, you may email me at or qr directly at but I’d much rather leave this thread for discussion of this protest and about Queer Action and for people in that area to get involved with them.

    • 155. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:41 pm

      @Vito gottcha, thanks for the connections, and I agree, this thread may not be the place for planning the actions, but at least you gave us connections, thanks

  • 156. alanbounville  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Agreed with Vito – today was about the amazing work of Queer Action – they have their stuff together for sure! The are sitting on a goldmine of POWERFUL LGBTQ and allied people – I can’t wait to see what they do next!!!

  • 157. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I like it, expecially thanks to the multiple components, cause many of us are into the safe counter protest, and I do think PamC was right that the two kind of went together .

    This energy that you bring will be a hudge lift for Straight Grandmother, and our leader of the pack Ronnie, he wants to act up, and if this storm is gonna break, I love the Civil Disobedience thing including risk of arrest,

    But this requires hudge numbers, how do we get the numbers,

  • 158. sucklingserpents  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    More pictures:


  • 159. alanbounville  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    @ Bob – It doesn’t require huge numbers – it requires some good training and a well thought out action. We can do a training in your area any time – I’m traveling the country this summer doing them all over the place because our people NEED this. So, let me know – or Vito, or the QR email and we’ll get people here to train you all. And then for DC we can all start talking together as to what to do. If we end up opening up the high-risk component as a publicly advertised part of the counter protest, we will just have to work with the police with some information sharing is all.

  • 160. John  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Shouting matches…”I think we stood up to them. I think we irritated them and I think they lost their message a little bit today” and pictures like the one with Brian Brown in a shouting match with equality supporters…

    My outside perspective: Not smart, not smart at all. The protests aren’t about confronting, drowning out or winning from the people that are attending the NOM-rally. Protesting is about the message it sends to people that did not attend any of the rallies. Protesting is all about what goes on beyond the actual action on the ground. You might feel good, but it is counterproductive. You’re only playing into their victimhood.

    There’s room for loud and annoying protests, but not by drowning out and agitating people who are exercizing their freedom of speech.

    Give them space, give them room. Let them be heard. It’s their party, don’t disrupt it. Counter them in a smart and effective way, a way that in no way can be interpreted as intimidating, antagonisti, disruptive or even disrespectful seen from an undecided viewpoint. You are not there to show the NOM-people that you’re right you are there to show to people passing by, tv-viewers, news paper readers that the NOM people are wrong.

    • 161. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      @ John, When is the right time and the room for the annoying protests?? are we there yet??

      so far there’s not been much write ups in the paper , maybe it’s time to get loud and get some coverage, maybe it’s time for some front plage coverage of this culture war, with all things on the burner and heating up, something has got to give, the steams gotta go somewhere.

      Even if you don’t agree, or the majority of us trackers don’t like it, we don’t own the counter protest, we are only a part of it, we can be good, quiet and all that but looks like other’s are going to express themselves in anothe way,

      We can no more tell someone else how to protest than NOM can tell us how to live our lives,

    • 162. Mark M  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more John! Shouting them down not only drowns out their message of hate but also our message of equality/rights. All it does is turn people off.
      I have seen it over the years fail time after time after time.
      If MLK had done this the civil rights movement would never have gotten so far so quickly…and let’s not forget Gandhi…as far as I remember he was not exactly the loud in your face type, but his message was LOUD.

    • 163. Alicia Ortiz, Albany NY (Albany Queer Rising)  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

      I really agree with what John has said here, and I also really agree with (and have personally worked with) Alan Bounville of NYC Queer Rising.

      Personally, in Albany, we followed the lead of Freedom to Marry, who encouraged everything John said. See details of our actions here:

      However, I do think both ends of the spectrum of protest are necessary. As Vito Oliver mentioned, someone will get in touch with local organization in D.C. to find out what is being organized on the ground. Respecting local orgs and working WITH them is important.

      Above Alan wrote: “this is a fight- not a conversation”.

      I disagree. This is BOTH.

      Let’s look to history- Harvey Milk for example- when Anita Baker was leading the charge to get Proposition 6 passed, making it illegal for any teachers to be openly gay. Opponents of Anita Baker followed her tour around the country, yes…. but also went DOOR-TO-DOOR in all of the counties who would be voting for or against this proposition.

      They had very real and difficult CONVERSATIONS to change the hearts and minds of perfect strangers, saying, “I am gay, and this will hurt me.”

      It is because of this, that so many people voted NO and the proposition failed.

      People [on the fence about gay rights] can watch a “confrontation” on the news, but unless the real human conversation enters their home, their heart, their mind, they have no reason to change their views. They have remained untouched by our action, and are left to be swept up by the opposition’s fear & distortions.

      To me, undermining lies with facts and human stories is one of the most powerful direct actions.

      There is most definitely room, and a need for intense civil disobedience.

      But I would also love to see mass canvassing (going door to door) about our rights. I can’t do that alone.

      Los Angeles so far is the only place I’ve ever heard of where people canvass (and have been for over 5 years) on marriage equality.

      “If marriage equality were to come on the ballot, how would you vote?” If this person says they’d vote no, then the very personal & delicate conversation begins. Is there resistance about children, religion, definition of marriage, etc?

      I attended a “Camp Courage” training last year hosted by the Courage Campaign in which young & seasoned activists are trained on these very techniques… particularly about how to use your personal story as a tool. Did you go to Catholic school as a child & feel outcasted; did your church make you feel unwelcome; is your church still an important part of your life; did your neices & nephews participate in your same-sex wedding and witness the love of two people; etc etc. Sharing this story with someone who may also feel that church is important to them, or that they too want their children to learn about love… you have made a connection. Maybe small at first, but important.

      This obviously can not speak to what happens specifically next month when NOM is in D.C.

      But I would love to begin the conversation (as Alan teaches in his civil disobedience trainings): first- before planning a civil disobedience- we must ask ourselves, what is our goal? Is our goal to change hearts and minds? Is our goal to piss off NOM (possibly giving NOM more ammunition to use against the LGBT community in riling up their base)? Is our goal to win same-sex marriage? (if so, then is yelling directly at Brian Brown an effective strategy? or would we rather be yelling into a tv camera?)

      I’m open to more discussions, and may be able to travel to to DC on August 15th.

      • 164. Alicia Ortiz, Albany NY (Albany Queer Rising)  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

        I mean- ANITA BRYANT! (not Baker)

        Freudian slip :)

      • 165. Bob  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

        Thanks Alicia, it helps to know that someone from Queer Rising is in contact with D.C. hopefully, as soon as they decide a course fo action they could give us some marching orders,

        Sounds like there just might be some boots on the ground for that rally, once we have marching orders, people can decide if they wish to fill those boots.

      • 166. Kathleen  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

        first- before planning a civil disobedience- we must ask ourselves, what is our goal?

        Interesting you should post this — just minutes ago I posted an email to someone on this very topic.

        I think some of the disagreement on the board over which tactics are best in countering the NOM appearances has to do with different opinions over what we want to accomplish with the demonstrations. And I hadn’t fully articulated that to myself until this morning.

        Personally, I see these counter-demonstrations as part of the “campaign to win hearts & minds” – the same campaign CC is addressing in having the Camp Courage trainings. Because of that view, I advocate for non-aggressive approaches which read as calm and reasoned in the press.

        I think the place for loud ‘in-your-face’ demonstrations are in political actions directed more at political leaders and legislators or just as a way of bringing general attention to the cause. In my mind, that is the context for becoming the rabble-rousing crowd who refuses to be ignored. And if someone sees that as the purpose for these NOM counter-demonstrations, then I can understand why that person would advocate for more aggressive action.

        I agree completely with Alicia – there is a place for both and before staging an action, it is important to be clear about what the goal is for that particular demonstration.

  • 167. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    okay fellow trackers, time for discussion wanna join forces and take this to the next level.

    • 168. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:42 am

      As for me I am going to seek out that Queer Rising in RI as they seem like leaders to me. Yes I also wnat to take this to the next level and I am happy to join them.

      • 169. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

        Thanks for your support SG! How I wish you were my grandmother. :-P

        But as a point of reference, there seems to be a bit of confusion because of the similarities in names. Queer Action is the Rhode Island group that organized the protest and the group that lead the counter-protest. This was THEIR action. Three members of NYC based Queer Rising went up to the podium against the wishes of Queer Action. This was not sponsored by QA and some may feel a bit annoyed at our actions. I will not apologize for them but I gladly step aside to give all the due credit for galvanizing all the people to come to QA.

        There are, as of now, two QRs that have done actions, one in NYC and one in Albany, NY. I know the history of QA but cannot speak for them. If you are located in RI or wherever and would like to work with us, that is awesome! We also encourage everyone to start their own local QR chapter and plan actions. Our members offer Civil Disobedience/Direct Action training seminars so people can do actions that are planned out as to ensure the safety of all participants. One of our guys, Alan Bounville (he is on this thread also) has been doing these seminars for free wherever he goes. I would suggest reaching out to him if you’re interested in these types of actions.

        But please, let’s all give Queer Action in Rhode Island a big round of applause for their awesome organization for their counter protest and let us not let the random action of my group, Queer Rising, overshadow the great work they did.

  • 170. Franck  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Hehe, I just thought about this: in Madagascar, the “traditional” definition of marriage used to be (and in some regions, still is) “get a woman in exchange for a good speech and a few heads of cattle.”

    Actually, a proper marriage ceremony here always involves the groom and his family moving en masse to ask the bride’s father the permission to take her away (like some piece of furniture, I might say…)

    In some parts of the island, even if the law technically forbids it, having at least two wives (the “greater wife” and at least one “lesser wife”) is still considered a pinnacle of a man’s social life.

    Okay, culture rant done, blog away!

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1123 days, as of today.

    • 171. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:09 am

      Franck I feel so sorry for you. I am working to make things different. Not a lot but whatever I can. It is so important for you to keep posting how many days you have been apart it really makes a strong statement.

      • 172. Franck  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:04 am

        Thanks. To be honest, I hadn’t thought it had been that long either, until I pulled out the actual number a few days ago. And yet, it’s only the day passed since we agreed to become an item. If you count the days since I’ve known him, the figure goes quite higher.

        I was reluctant to put this signature here at first, but then I said “what the hell?” About every single important decision I’ve taken in the last three years was taken with our reunion as a goal. He helped keep me alive during and after the recent (often violent) political crisis, which had led me to be out of a job for 15 months with family-related expenses still coming. Might I had I recently realized that in helping me he’d literally spent all of his savings, which he won’t be able to replace soon.

        I might be a self-declared obnoxious whiner, but I thought it was about time I let others know just how long we’ve waited, and possibly just how long we might still have to wait.

        – Franck P. Rabeson
        Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1123 days, as of today.

      • 173. Franck  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:06 am

        * sorry, the second link in the above post was supposed to be

      • 174. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:43 am

        July 19th was Felyx’s and mine little anniversary — 5 months or 150 days exactly since we’ve met.  Yeah, I’m doing it now, too, on my wikipedia page, because of your posts about the number of days.  150 days seem like nothing in comparison with 1100 days!  You are my inspiration, and, I hope, Felyx’s!

      • 175. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

        I have to quote a song here….

        We could be married.
        And then we’d be happy!

        Wouldn’t it be nice…

        You know, it seems the more we talk about it,
        It only makes it worse to live without it.
        But lets talk about it…
        Oh, wouldn’t it be nice!


        It is good that Kirill counts the days apart….because I can only count the hours spent together!

      • 176. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:20 am

        Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys

  • 177. BradK  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:26 am

    With apologies to Ғĕłỹҳ. Mea culpa!

    • 178. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

      LOL! No apology necessary! I only encourage the community to be judicious in its use of visual media.

      The Family guy reference puts the whole thing into context!


  • 179. Wolfinlv  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:41 am

    those two praying in that video need to go visit with sarah palin’s minister that prayed for her to be immune to witchcraft. I think they’re speaking the same gibberish.

  • 180. matthew  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:46 am

    A funny thought just occured to me.

    NOM runs to King Solomon and ask him to reserve the right to get married to only them. Soloman intends to share the right of marriage with everyone equally, and then those two asshats in the video start doing that ‘speaking in tongues’ exorcism thing they were doing( that made me laugh so hard lol!). to banish the demons from Solomon. Lol

    Seriously people, if you don’t believe in gay marriage, then don’t get gay married!

    ‘Traditional Marriage’ has a thousand different meanings, and makes no sense at all as an argument against SSM unless you also want women to become property again. My partner and I totally support traditional marriage. ie. we love each other, have dedicated our lives together, have a home together, want to adopt children, and want the same legal rights and protections that other couples have.

    The only difference between my relationship and theirs is that when we dress to match it looks fabulous!

  • 181. Wolfinlv  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    John what we are to do ask politely for our rights? “oh kind sir and/or madam please pass me my equality.” We’ve done that and been denied. We’ve done that for many many many years and made a little headway. None of the other equal rights movements were quite and polite. They shouted, chanted, sang, screamed, preached, and stood their ground. There were pickets for sufferance, There were marches and walks and sit ins and such for equal rights. They disrupted the norm and the civility to get what they wanted and guess what they got it. They didn’t have black pride parades they MARCHED on Capitol Buildings, They Marched and picketed and shouted and preached. They didn’t have big floats all decorated and pretty and parties and vendor fairs on Saturdays and Sundays. NO they did it when it wasn’t convenient for the people on whom they were marching. What good does any of that do if NO one is there to see it or to be effected by it other than those who are either vehemently against it or already a part of the choir?

    • 182. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:49 am

      Stonewall happened 40 years ago for goodness sake. I agree with you Wolfinlv. I am done asking, now I am more in demanding mode. These protests can become more and more true “Civilized Marches for Equaility” only when more people participate. There is not enough Equality protesteers right now, we are like a little fly that politicians and the public can easily swat away, so the few Equality protesters need to be loud. It is a fact, far and away, GLBT people do not come out for protests only for parades.

      Nothing illegal, but everything legal should be employed. As Martin Luther King said, ‘When is the right time?”

  • 183. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

    From scratch. Some ideas on strategy. Everything should be well thought out and thought through. How will it LOOK and SOUND to alukewarm or even uninterested or undecided public*. I’m all for creative experiments but be careful. One bad picture can undo an entire campaign effort

    1. Demonstrations are not for the participants. It’s not about letting of steam, feeling good about yourself (although that can be a bonus effect) or proving you are RIGHT. Demonstrations are to demonstrate to OUTSIDERS that your opponents are WRONG.

    1a So everything should be tailored to make that obvious to the onlooker. Make your opponents look bad, preferably by their own account or visually mirroring their own arguments.
    1b Demonstrating is not about people or viewers on site, but about outsiders you want to reach through the media. So think about how it will look on tv, in a newspaper picture or article, or on youtube. Think about how it could be construed, what are the possible narratives. How could it be spun. Be devil’s advocate. I know that you do not control the way it will be displayed, but you do control the way you display yourselves. That might seem a lame catchphrase, but that is essentially what it is about. Do not give your opponents ammunition.

    2 Stay positive. Show your goals, or show how your opponents thwart your goals. You can be angry and shout at your own turf, but during at a counter-protest when you directly confront your opponents.

    3. Instruct the crowd beforehand, and be strict. Start at a different location and make absolutely clear what the plan is, what the message is, and how you want the message conveyed. Urge people to stay on message, urge people not to get carried away, not to provoke, or to be provoked. Make a clear and consize list of DO’s and DON’Ts. You cannot control a freak, but to a large extend you can control what happens. The crowds are small. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the sixties succeeded in that with large crowds in considerably more difficult circumstances.

    One example, both good and bad. In my country during the eighties the peace-movement was strong and vocal. Mass demonstrations against the stationing of nuclear weapons on dutch soil were very successful and effective for public discourse. They were huge, peaceful, cheerful and full of creativity. The media attention was enormous. The public debate was energized. A few years later the movement petitioned the government to reconsider their tentative decision to let the nukes in. 3.7 million signatures were collected. That’s 25% of the entire population and more than a third of the voting population. Big success, untill the petition was to be symbolically handed over to our government during a big demonstration. Tens of thousands peace-demonstrators showed up. To everyones surprise the prime minister himself showed up as well to accept the petition IN PERSON. Not only that, he politely requested some time to address the crowd himself! What happened next felt awfully good at the time, for me as a passionate supporter of the peace movement, but was it really?

    The crowds felt angry, and ignored by the governemnt. So the reasoning was: if the government didn’t listen to us, we do not listen to the government. In the spur of the moment they turned their backs and booed his speech. That image stuck, and I still cringe when I think about it.
    *we must not fool ourselves. Judging by the rate of posts and amount of comments, everybody here is in a frenzy. That is understandable, because we are all directly affected. But this is our little bubble. Apart from our opponents, most people really don’t care about this issue or about gay rights in general. Even most people who are (relatively) supportive don’t really care that much. So it’s important not to put them off.

    • 184. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:13 am

      sorry, another correction: You can be angry and shout at your own turf, but NOT during a counter-protest when you directly confront your opponents.

      my post is primarily about counter protests

    • 185. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:05 am

      So did you get the nukes or not?

      • 186. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:50 am

        Everything went ahead as decided. They started building the compound. The dutch peace movement dwindled away. The battle was over, the peace movement had lost. But the irony was that before the compound was finished, the 1987 INF-treaty between the US and the USSR made it obsolete.

        So no, we did not get the nukes, but neither the petition, nor the incident for that matter, had any effect on that. What the incident did do was to put off people who were open to discussion about the topic as I found out the day after. It was not as positively received as I had expected. To put it mildly. The prime minister came out swinging and earned lots of respect. The peace movement had embarrassed itself.

  • 187. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Small addition: I’m primarily writing about counter-protesting. I did not make that very clear I’m afraid

  • 188. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Becuase I am in the small minority of what the best way to protest is I went and looked up a bit on Martin Luther Kind Jr. The part I think is most pertinent is what I put **** around.

    The philosophy of non-violence was heavily rooted in religion and common sense.
    *************To succeed non-violent protest required not just the support of the majority of the black population but that population’s active participation.******

    Black churches were the only black dominated mass organisations in the south capable of rallying this level of support at the time of the civil rights movement. Religious leaders were respected by and held considerable sway over their delegations. A successful protest therefore required the active support of church leaders and more often than not adopted many of their values.

    When Montgomery activists wanted to organise a bus boycott they turned to their ministers for leadership. Their actions under the leadership of Martin Luther King set the tone for future peaceful civil rights protests. King preached love, self-sacrifice and the restoration of black dignity during the boycott. Blacks had to prove to northern whites that they were worthy of and being denied their constitutional rights as American citizens. This was part of a faith in liberal reform through the democratic process held by King and other proponents of non-violence.

    This is why I say shout all these anti gay hating groups down, because we do not have what Dr King had which was that the majority of African Americans participated.

    Only a fraction, a miniscule franction of gays and lesbians come out and participate in a protest. The best plan is the Dr MLK plan, but we don’t have that so we have to go to plan B.

    • 189. Elsie  |  July 19, 2010 at 7:52 am

      I am old enough to have lived through both the civil rights and the feminist protests of the 60’s and after thinking about it for 24 hours I have to agree with SG.

      Albany was brilliant but silent protests that respects NOM’s right to free speech supposes that there is a conversation going on. This is emphatically not a conversation. Someone pointed out to me that if the KKK blew into town and set up a rally, we wouldn’t worry about their right to “free speech”. NOM is no different, they spew lies about harming the children and the inferiority of the LGBTQI community and their families. They give tacit support to violence against people I care about.

      John is correct in his assessment that counter protests are about convincing the passer by. However, on this issue I think that we need a different tactic because it is war of the heart (or the lizard brain, if you will) and not reason. What happened with Prop 8 has shown that measured cool headed counter campaigning is not effective. We are dealing with a lying machine that taps into the gut level fears of people and the only way to deal with them is to shout them down.

      To those who fear that civil disobedience will feed NOM’s cries of “we are victims” I would offer that there is nothing we can avoid that. Their twisting of the events of Albany proves that they will always find something. I know this because I have fundies in my family, their satisfaction in life is to think of themselves as victims.

      I send my wishes for success and safety to Queer Rising, where ever they may be able to make an impact.

      • 190. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:22 am

        @Elsie, very well said, thanks for your insights, and especially for thinking about it.

        I’ve been thinking about it too, and you’re bang on about the fact that there’s nothing we can do about the way NOM spins this, I too have a fundie family,

        I like your cooparison to the KKK, that gets on the gut level, without a doubt I’d shout them out, I’ risk my life to shut them up.

        I’m thinking, you’ve stated some very valid reasons for taking action, we do this from a place inside us, that says ENOUGH, this place is not a place of reasoning, or a desire for publicity, this comes from the place that says, I am resigned to following this through to conclusion, no matter the consequence, because ultimately it is miy right to do so, and I will express that right, until I don’t have to anymore. do with me what you will,
        We are forging our own path here, so we can feel some freedom, from that other desire to be like other marches,
        This is our march, this is our time to stand up,
        One thing we presently have on our side, is the courts, remember Judge Walker holiding the match, his ruling will not be influenced by how we behave in a protest.
        He wouldn’t deny equal rights because we were unruly in a protest.
        And I do think the ruling applies here, that negative publicity is better than no publicity, Joe public has to be aware, that we’re fed up, we’re ready, and civil disobedience could be very disruptive to public life,

      • 191. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

        I beg to disagree. There is a consensus now about racism and the KKK. But even if you are right now, that might not be the case 50 years ago. And then again, the KKK was never a respectable organization. Compare them to the Westboro Phelps Clan. A lot of people, even anti-gay people, think that they don’t deserve speaking time.

        And where are the pictures of Martin Luther King or the NAACP antagonizing, disrupting and harrassing the racists? The civil rights protests were very well thought out, very well executed and painstakingly reasonable, even meak. They let the images speak for themselves, very powerful imagery. The racists were shouting, angry and loud. The civil disobedience was a lot about contrast. Us the peaceful good guys vs them the hateful, violent bad guys. That’s what I got away from the civil rights struggle. Maybe I missed something?

        And Prop8? Very bad example. The campaign against prop 8 was abysmal, because of it’s evasiveness. It never countered the arguments of the prop8 campaign. Even the anti-prop 8 side must have thouht gay people were a threat because I did not see any couples or gay people in their ads. They did not even counter the gay people are after our children-line, or questioned how it could be wrong to let children know about equal rights. The anti-prop8 ads blabbered on about there being nothing in the law about teaching about gay marriage. Message: well, let us marry, do not be afraid that someone is obliged to hear about our dangerous ilk.

        And who won at the ballot box? In California, In Maine, and all the other states? You cannot win by looking angry. If you want to get the word out, stay focused and COUNTER their message. Like Ted Olson en David Boies did: head on. Don’t talk about equality at their rallies, counter THEIR arguments.

        Look at this video, and the one that was posted earlier (link in my next post):

        Honestly, how would you react or what would be your thoughts about it if this was about an issue you were not emotionally involved in? What would be your impressions?

      • 192. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:54 am

        the other video, same question

      • 193. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

        I’ve got to agree with those favoring peaceful action. The goal is to make your opponents appear to be frothing at the mouth and unreasonable.

        Gandhi had the right idea: employ non-violent, peaceful resistance.

        Pertinent quotes from Gandhi for our movement to consider:

        “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”

        “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”


      • 194. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:24 am

        Well, maybe the Beatles summed it up best in “Revolution.”

      • 195. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

        Actually, the yelling match makes Brian Brown look bad, he was yelling equally as loud, he sort of lost it there, makes it real clear that he doesn’t have a valid point, if he did, he would have just backed off at that point, but it came so natural for him to just yell louder,
        That one incident blended into the other part of the video, which showed that their was some discussion taking place,
        I ddn’t see any comments that specifically made reference to the yelling match.
        Personally, for those who aren’t emotionally involved in this battle, we want to bring them to the place where it does impact them, I want them to be begging for Walkers ruling, so it’s not in their face any more.
        The real discussion and evidence is all documented in a court case, as never before, the facts are there, we just need to encourage Joe public who is not emotionally involved, who is some way now affected by these protests, to go to the documents and read the facts for himself,
        My favorite sign was a hudge one that said Democracy not Theocracy, many people not emotionally vested in this marriage debate, may be triggered by thinking about this aspect of the struggle.

      • 196. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:49 am

        Bob–the Democracy not Theocracy was our sign!

      • 197. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

        @Elsie, oh my gosh what a good analogy, the KKK. Yes if you think of it that way yeah, we would not just permit them to spew hatred against us while we stood by in a silent protest.

        @John, in their communities the KKK was not only a respected organazaion it was one of the main organizations in the community.

        Eventually they were discredited by the public and I don’t know enough or really any of the history, to find out what turned that around. I think it might have been the FBI infiltrating and busting them, but I am not sure.

        I wish so much we could have masses and masses of feet on the ground which would then allow us to peacefully march and make our statement without even having to open our mouth. That is acctually my dream. More like the sufragetts that Fiona mentioned on another thread. I looked at pictuers of the sufragett movement and they seemed to have a LOT of women march through the streets in parades holding signs. I jsut don’t knwo why GLBT people do not come out in mass to protest for their rights. The only thing I can think of is that there is not one, and only one, charismatic GLBT leader who can motivate and lead.

      • 198. JonT  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

        You make some very valid points Elsie.

        1. You are right – if the KKK came marching into down, I would not give a shit about their ‘right to speak’. I remember they did that in Denver some years ago on MLK day, and a bit of a riot ensued. The cops had to protect them from getting their asses royally kicked (and some of them did anyways). I don’t think they’ve tried that since.

        2. You are also right in that even if we waited quietly in the background while BB spoke, then walked up to BB and handed him a bouquet of flowers and left, he’d find some way to be a victim. That’s his job really.

        I liked the Albany protest, I think it was effective. But you won’t see me complaining too loudly about QA getting up in BB’s face either. :)

      • 199. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

        in response to straight grandmother:
        “@John, in their communities the KKK was not only a respected organazaion it was one of the main organizations in the community.”

        I read up a little about the KKK and must admit you are largely right. It was a large and very influential but – as I understood – mostly secret organization.

  • 200. John B.  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I like the idea of a silent protest and I like the idea of signs like “can you see our love?”. How about 50 or 100 (or 200!) same-sex couples standing silently together, holding hands and holding up signs saying “together 27 years” (or better yet, “together 27 years/married 1 year”). The point is, marriage is not really creating anything new for us–we are ALREADY forming long-term relationships, whether you call them “partnerships” or “marriages”, what we are asking for is legal recognition and protection of those relationships.

    I’m willing to bet Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher haven’t been with their spouses even half as long as my partner and I have been together, yet we were only able to get married earlier this year. We’ve lived together, we own a house together, we are recognized as a couple by our friends, family, and coworkers, we share income and expenses, we’ve supported each other and shared our lives in every way, we’ve prepared wills and every other legal means we can to protect our rights, and yet for 27 years on every legal form that asked about marital status we had to check “single”.

    • 201. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:48 am

      Well said.

    • 202. Mark M  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

      AWESOME! Great post John!
      I would love to see that kind of protest/demonstration!!!
      Congrates on your 27 yrs…..we are also at 27 yrs, but for us not legally married yet. Thousands of dollars in legal fees for ‘the paperwork’, but in all of that no true real security.
      I hate checking single…it tears at my heart each and every time.

    • 203. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Good suggestions! Couples should bring their children as well. This issue IS about children, that’s what the NOM people are right about. Just not the way they think it is.

  • 204. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:55 am

    This is OT, but I thought it was important enough to share hear. I just got a press release from Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out, and the best way I can sum this one up is to ask Ronnie to find the old Queen hit, “Another One Bites the Dust.”

    This is about one of the “ex-gay” life coaches.

    • 205. JonT  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Oh geez. Why am I not surprised in the slightest. :)

    • 206. Ronnie  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Yup another one bites the dust….lol…<3…Ronnie:

    • 207. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Richard Walter, man oh man Queen, what an era of great fun and great music. I remember listining on the raidio to a song on the first album from Queen, and when I got paid on Friday I ran right out and bought that album. It had a pink cover, I remember that.

  • 208. Dustin B  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:58 am

    If anyone knows any specifics about the protest against NOM in Columbus, OH this weekend, could you please let me know? I was unaware they were coming so close to where I live so I want to help take a stand against them. Thanks!

  • 209. Wolfinlv  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I never said that it couldn’t be peaceful, however, we have too long relegated our selves to pride parades which accomplish nothing. Not sure if you’ve ever heard of the Kinsey Sicks but they have a song “Buy My Pride” about how it used to be that gay individuals and groups would sponsor pride and how NOW it’s Abercrombie and Fitch, Absolute, Bud, Bud lite, Miller… Yes that’s great but those companies are just using it as advertisement to whom do they contribute politically?

    So yes the march on DC by the civil rights movement of the 60’s was peaceful we can do the same… But for some reason we ALWAYS do it when WE are allowed to and that is ALWAYS when no one is there. We protest not during the week when people will see, but on weekends when there’s no one down town. Here in vegas our pride parade is at night, down town in the business district on a little used side street. We aren’t allowed to hand anything out, we aren’t allowed to even so much as throw a bead.

    We don’t go to city hall and have a speech by an impassioned speaker, we don’t go down the street singing we will overcome where others will hear.

    I’m not saying they need to be violent but I am saying they need to be where they will get seen by those who might be on the fence, or might be leaning the other way and they need to at least be inconvenient to go around.

    I guess I can boil it down to this. We the GLBTQ (I haven’t figured out why the letters got changed around in recent years) community need to be seen and while the pride parades in NYC, LA, SD, and SF are somewhat covered they aren’t here or in most small towns/cities. A protest walking down the strip would be covered even if it was peaceful and on the sidewalks it would be a disruption to the normal. We are even getting flack for picketing those who financially backed prop 8 instead of getting support for doing so. The right boycotts at the drop of a hat if a company supports gay rights with more than a token… but if we boycott we are hurting innocent people and harassing them.

    No I will not peacefully walk to the gas chamber. I have and continue to do so counter post to people on face book who say things. I have and will continue to do so point out to my family that if they vote to not give rights they are voting against me having my rights.

    • 210. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

      Wolfinlv, the things you cite are what I consider non-violent direct resistance.

      The sidewalks are public property; you do not have to have a permit to march there. It’s when you are talking about closing streets, etc., that permits are required. Just so you know. :-)


      • 211. Wolfinlv  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:56 am

        Actually here in vegas it’s a bit different if you are carrying signs you must have a permit. Did they have a permit for the march on washington when they marched in the 60s?

  • 212. Sagesse  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

    My thoughts, after sleeping on it. Any action needs to consider its audience, and what you want to persuade that audience to do. Using Rhode Island as an example. The objective of Queer Action Rhode Island is to support LGBT-friendly state legislators in the November elections, and to support passage of marriage equality next year. They want to be able to marry in Rhode Island. And they’re close.

    To do that, they have to deal with NOM on their turf, in Rhode Island. Recognizing that folks in Rhode Island do not like outsiders messing in their business, one message is that NOM shouldn’t get to decide what happens in Rhode Island. Sounds like a reasonable message for Rhode Island.

    Their objective is to convince the 5% of the population that is leaning no, but is least committed to that position, to switch sides. Same applies to legislators. They are not talking to the NOM folks at all. And to convince reasonable voters to switch sides, you address them as reasonable people, you don’t yell at them, and if you do, they’ll probably be put off.

    Just to say that the community in Rhode Island has a strategy for getting marriage equality in Rhode Island, a step that benefits them greatly and benefits the cause eventually. And who are we on this board, or anyone else, to get in the way of them doing that.

    • 213. Sagesse  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

      P.S. As to the face off with Brian Brown, probably no harm done and he lost it and was made to look malicious. But it could have been worse.

  • 214. Phillip R  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I can see how some people are ripped and ready to take a more active and direct approach to the protests. Having a shouting match just seems so counterintuitive though.

    I believe that for the most part, you aren’t going to change the minds of people that planned to attend the rally. Their viewpoints are firm enough for them to believe enough in the ‘sanctity of marriage’ to plan to attend the event. Really, I would think it’s more about getting information out to the people that happen to see the rally as they are going about their business and stop to listen. I know that if I walked into a heated shouting match between protestors, I may stop to listen but I’m not really going to give much credit to either side. We should be able to present our side in a calm, logical manner and stand out by that alone. Interrupting the opponent’s rally isn’t going to do that and makes us look intolerant to others’ beliefs. I’ve seen the pictures and our side looked more rabid than Brian did and it will be spun that way.

    Yes, their side lies about all sorts of things about us. We shouldn’t resort to mudslinging and yelling in response. I would think you’d have a better chance handing out pamphlets to area walkers with clear and concise arguments and counterpoints to their messages. I would think that would be more thought provoking and that is what’s going to move people off of the fence one way or the other.

    • 215. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

      @Phillip, we have done a great job of presenting our side in a calm, logical manner, in a way no one has ever done before, have you read the prop9 trial record, it’s all there in black and white,
      I like the idea about pamphlets, maybe some quotes from the record, or just a link to the site where they can read the evidence for themselves.

  • 216. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Brian Brown looking malicious, PRICELESS that’s the goal, for Joe public to associate the NOM bus, with trouble, malicious , hate, trouble coming to town.
    Where the NOM bus stops, there’s going to be a scene,

    @PamC, you go girl, can’t believe you and your wife made my two faourite signs DEMOCRACY not THEOCRACY, and EQUAL MARRIAGE

    @Fiona, in my brief discussions with Equality Rising people who posted on this site, they seem to be very well linformed about communication with police and permits etc.

    • 217. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:51 am

      I have no doubt that the Equality Rising folks are well-versed about permits, etc.

      My comment to Wolf had to do with him/her saying that the protests in LV happen in the dead of night, down side streets, where no one can see them. The sidewalk is public property.


  • 218. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:42 am

    @Straight Grandmother, yes we’re a bit disjointed, and when will a leader emerge, someone to set the tone, a balance, using all our energy to make one point



    • 219. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

      It seems to me, from the perspective of a straight ally, that it’s going to be awfully hard to see a leader emerge when the movement itself appears to be eating its own young. Organizers in each state for the counter-rallies try to set a tone, and then out-of-town guests take it upon themselves to decide the tone is wrong??

      That’s just in this thread alone, but I’ve seen it all over this board on all kinds of issues. Yes, some favor more direct, confrontational action than others. I get that. Shouting in someone’s face is considered *assault.* Battery is what happens when you lay hands on another person. Let’s not lower ourselves to the level of our opponents, is what I am saying.

      Let them foam at the mouth. Stand with your sign. Remain silent, if that’s the order of the day according to the organizing group. If not, sing protest songs like “We Shall Overcome” or “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ” a capella or to someone local playing guitar — do NOT use a recording by an artist without their permission, because it implies their endorsement (remember all the trouble McCain got in for using Bruce Springsteen’s recording)? Even if you know that an artist (e.g., PP&M) supports this cause, don’t use their recording without permission. Ask. (That’s the former band manager in me … I know the rules, LOL.)

      This method *works.* Not sure? Reference MLK and Gandhi.


  • 220. Chris  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Someone on the equality side should organize moments of group prayer, in the hopes that God will forgive the anti-marriage crowd for their hatred and intolerance.

    I’m not normally an advocate of prayer, but I think it would drive those guys nuts to see that.

    And it would also underscore the message that no matter how they try to whitewash their viewpoints, they stand for a mindset that Jesus – assuming he’s as loving and tolerant as they insist he was – would never support.

    Hatred is an abomination. I’d like to see that on a sign.

  • 221. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Chris, I believe it was PamC who said it was the Metropolitan Community Church, who knelt in prayer, (active prayer) not a mockery, and it was powerful.

    I like her comment, NOM doesn’t own spirituality, we too can pray. and some do

    So yes I like that, and hopefully affirming churches may do more of the same

    • 222. Chris  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:08 am

      Oh I absolutely agree. This shouldn’t be a mockery. That’s wonderful that people actually did that.

      Well said that neither NOM – nor any of these other crazy Christian supremacist groups – owns spirituality. They defile their own faith with their self-serving interpretations of it.

      Sad how these people are so eager to forget their own insistence that God and Jesus stand for love.

    • 223. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      I don’t think it was MCC; I think it was those wonderful unitarians with a banner. Actually, the few who knelt down facing the tongues-speakers crossed themselves before praying, so that might mean Catholic/Episcopal/Eastern Orthodox?

  • 224. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

    You know, my first impulse was that the preachers speaking in tongues would make NOM look (more) ridiculous. But these guys were mocked for the “Gathering Storm” ads and look at what happened. The small turnout is encouraging, but be vigilant, my friends.

    • 225. Chris  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:16 am

      While I would personally find preacher speaking in tongues hilarious, I don’t think that mocking these idiots is going to accomplish anything besides making them mad. It’ll just shore up their claims that they’re the victims of godless rabblerousers.

      That’s why I think a session of heartfelt prayer is important here. It’ll show that gay people are just as spiritual as anyone else, and focus attention where it should be: on the incontrovertible fact that denying rights to people is not loving, moral, or sensible.

      This tour is a fantastic opportunity that NOM has given us: a chance to come across as concerned, decent people who love their families, not as the pedophile terrorists they’re telling everyone we are.

      Signs that emphasize love and families. Prayer. Peaceful demonstrations. They used those to win hearts and minds – we can too.

      • 226. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:29 am

        If these two started speaking in tongues at me, I’d fall to the ground and writhe around like a demon was trying to get out…

        Then I’d sit up, point at them and laugh. They deserve to be mocked.

      • 227. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

        @ Billy 215. Billy | July 19, 2010 at 11:29 am
        You crack me up, hysterical, you are a gem. Keep it up Billy, keep it up.

      • 228. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        I’d be tempted to yell “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!” I wouldn’t do it, but I’d be tempted. >;-D

  • 229. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Just a reminder: Metropolitan Community Church of San Jose is screening “8: The Mormon Proposition” this Thursday, July 22, at 7 PM.

    Particulars are in this press release:


  • 230. Queer Action of RI  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

    To Vito, Alan, Natasha and anyone else from Queer Rising…I want to thank you for all that you did. This is never about a pissing contest. We are on the same side. One group did one thing another did something else. If 175 of us got around the podium it would have been mayhem. People may agree they may not agree but I can say this the gay community in RI is on fire right now. We are pumped and this is what it took. I know I’m done being silent. I am done caring how NOM and the media spin it. It’s time to start a revolution. Support Queer Action of RI, support Queer Rising, support GetEQUAL…times are changing. We are going to get our rights one way or another!

    Also if you want all the details of the protest we have a fan page on facebook:

    • 231. Chris  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

      “I am done caring how NOM and the media spin it.”

      No offense, as I stand behind what you do, but I think that’s exactly what Brian Brown wants to hear.

      Screaming and causing trouble reaffirms all the lies they’ve spread. The strategy should be to upend their claims, publicly. Show the world that gay people are not violent or anti-anything.

      Doesn’t matter how honorable the cause is – shouting people on television screens are shouting people on television screens.

      • 232. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

        And the angry shouting will do a great job underlining the fear mongering in the NOM-ads.

    • 233. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:30 am

      @Queer Action of RI am I hearing you right, you are not mad at those from out of state who came in to contribute , are you actually thanking them, do you see the potential, for all to join in one massive effort, and do you have any suggestions for who could organize, or lead in the next protest?

    • 234. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:35 am

      That’s what I’m talking about silent protests are unmotivating to the troops. Look at what Queer Action of RI just wrote-

      “People may agree they may not agree but I can say this the gay community in RI is on fire right now. We are pumped and this is what it took. I know I’m done being silent. I am done caring how NOM and the media spin it. It’s time to start a revolution. Support Queer Action of RI, support Queer Rising, support GetEQUAL…times are changing. We are going to get our rights one way or another!”

      They are on fire and they are pumped and they are going to keep it up. With their enthusiasim they are going to go out and bring in more supporters, this will build. I rest my case.

    • 235. John  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      We’ll see how it plays out, but I fear that you are not on fire but playing with fire. The strategy of NOM might be repulsive and loathsome, it is rather effective and successful. I can’t see the logic behind your strategy other than playing into their hands.

      • 236. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

        This. ^^

        In spades.

        All it does is prove their fear-mongering, in the eyes of their supporters.

        My first anthropology professor contacted the ATF during their confrontation with the Branch Davidians to explain why their tactics would not work in Waco — that they were playing right into the Branch Davidians’ teachings that the end times were upon them, and that they needed to do something different.

        The response was basically along the lines of “Thanks, Doc, but we know we’re doing the right thing …”

        And we all know how that turned out.

        When you do things that play into peoples’ fear-based beliefs, you merely entrench them further. They dig in their heels and say “See? I told you so …”

        It does NOTHING to help the cause overall, no matter how righteous a given person feels in the moment.


  • […] Hey everyone — our team is recovering from a long weekend of covering the NOM tour events and counter-protests in Albany and Providence. […]

  • 238. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Okay so I went over to that Queer Rising Facebook page, I didn’t get very far but so far I like what I see. Look what they are planning for the day Judge Walker issues his Prop 8 decision.

    There was also another relaly good post from a group in Dallas, with a good video.

  • 239. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:24 am

    So, I looked up on the internet to see if anything is going on at Indianapoils for an organized counter rally. I found this website which said it encompasses PFLAG Indianapolis, Stonewall Democrats and Freedom to Marry. They’re gonna hold a public screening of the film “Out in the Silence” the same date and time as the NOM rally…


    WTF? Seriously. W. T. F.! “Oh, let’s have a coalition of local glbt groups stage a counter protest to NOM’s hatred ELEVEN MILES AWAY FROM THEIR EVENT AT THE SAME TIME. That’ll show them!”

    I’m sickened. Repulsed. Shocked, even. Are the gay leaders just hanging average gay Joe out to dry here or what??

    • 240. Joshua  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:33 am

      @Billy — Here is the link to the counter protest here in Indy. I hope this helps. I’m trying to get off work for it. Its literally 3 blocks away from my workplace so hopefully I can leave for an hour and get down there. Anyways here’s the link:

    • 242. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:46 am

      Billy, I am glad to see you on fire.
      Yeah I agree with you, WTF?!
      Will you please permit me to purchase a big rainbow flag for you to have at the event? I really want to do something to help and it is difficult being not in the states. I did send you a message on facebook from your Indianapolis protest webpage.

      • 243. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

        Oh! Shoot, I’ll check my messages then :p

      • 244. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

        Check your FB messages :p

  • 245. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:43 am!/oneman.onewoman?v=wall&ref=ts

    This facebook group angers and enrages me.

    • 246. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:50 am

      lol I got banned from that fast…

    • 247. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      Billy between your facebook page and josh’s reference face book page it shows 45 people responding that they will attend the event. If my memory serves me I think that was about the number of Equality Protestors who showed up at the first ant-NOM event in Maine. It won’t take much more effort to put Indianapolis on the anti – NOM map.

      Reach out to coffee houses etc. Well meybe I should not offer suggestions since i am not gay i really don’t know where gay people go to in mass, other than I have head of gay bars? Wait one more suggestion before I quit.

      When searching for video of the RI event on their local tv stations I did a search and watched an old video of a pro-SSM protest. A supporter of NOW, was on camera and talked, the National Organization for Women, they supported the protest.

      Dunno though, that free movie offer might be awfully tempting, LOL. Maybe try reaching out to National Organization for Women in Indianapolis.

      • 248. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm

        Yeah, I never got my copy of The Gay Agenda when I came out. Must not’ve paid my dues or something. So, I don’t really know where gay men congregate in the midwest :p

        But I will try my best to put the word out there!

  • 249. Joshua  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I just wanted to say hi to everyone. I’ve been viewing this site everyday since the trial began and thought I’d FINALLY leave a message. Thank you for putting this site up!

    • 250. Kathleen  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:46 am

      Thanks for coming out of lurker mode. Great to ‘meet’ you!

    • 251. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      yeah Joshua, welcome, out of lurking to post, and even thinking of attending the rally, right on,

      here’s hoping you and Billy can get together for the rally

      And also sending thoughts that older people at those rallies look around and keep an eye out for the newcomers.

    • 252. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      Joshua, welcome, and what in particular motivated you to post today?

  • 253. Trish C.  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I spent a good part of my ’09 summer with family members and supporters in Anchorage, Alaska attempting to get “sexual orientation” added to our city’s discrimination ordinance. We spent all summer locked in public hearings, it was our opposition’s plan to postpone the vote until a new mayor was in office. (Unfortunately, it worked) That opposition was led by Mr. Jerry Prevo and Anchorage Baptist Temple. Every hearing day, they would show up to the public library by the bus load decked out in their finest red shirts to hold signs of hate and say things like “you should just be happy that you’re allowed to live” to the beautiful people such as my mother who chose to stand up with us in support. By the end of the summer, it was almost instinctual for my stomach to turn at the sight of a red shirt. I was afraid Prevo and his blind sheep had forever ruined that color for me. Thank you, Queer Action Rhode Island, for giving me a reason to love the color red again. <3

  • 256. gorgydan  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    so, this may seem like a stupid question, but what language was the NOM guy speaking in? I mean, I was raised a southern baptist and I have never heard anybody talk like that…..was he speaking in tongues? If so, they have more problems they need to worry about then marriage equality.

    • 257. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      I think Billy has the right idea, have this pre-planned, if they get one of those preachers speaking in tongues, someone darts in and lays on the ground under the preachers and starts writhering around, like they are possessed. Can you imagine how hysterical that would be on film. Oh Billy that was a great idea you had there.

      • 258. Billy  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        I’ll have the alkaseltzer pills in my pocket, ready to foam at the mouth too. I can’t help it, but these people bring out the smartass in me <3

  • 259. Mark M  |  July 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    So any thoughts or ideas on how to reach out to the large percentage of single LGBT people? How do we pull them into a fight on an issue that many feel doesn’t effect or pertain to them?
    I know this to be an issue as it’s been expressed to me countless times.
    Seriously, any thoughts?

    • 260. Mark M  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

      PS: Or maybe this is just a local Seattle thing?
      During our recent fight over Ref 71 Everything BUT Marriage so many young single Gays just didn’t seem to care or understand what this means in the bigger picture for equality. Couldn’t get many involved…..

    • 261. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm


      Any time someone’s rights are put on the ballot, *everyone’s* rights are in danger. Some of these groups are calling for recriminalization of sodomy — by which they do not mean opposite-sex couples engaging in the same sex acts. They want to make being gay a crime.

      It’s no different from the anti-choice forces who are whittling away Roe v. Wade bit by bit. Sure, abortion is still legal — but it may as well not be if you can’t get access to it.

      They will pick away and pick away until they achieve their ultimate goals, both of them misogynistic in nature.


  • 262. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    The spinning has already begun, aided by people who didn’t do as the counter-protest organizers asked. :-(

    If someone unfamiliar with the cause, whose mind we might have captured, sees this before they see anything else? What do you think their opinion will be?


  • 263. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm


    Please do not speak for the organizers. Heather, one of the main organizers for Queer Action, has thanked myself and the other members of Queer Rising for what we have done. We did exactly what needed to be done.



    • 264. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

      Vito, it was made plain in another thread that the counter protest permit was based on particular parameters (being a certain distance away), and that it was to be a silent protest — based on what the organizers said.

      I have no doubt that you believe you did exactly the right thing. You’ve made that very clear.

      • 265. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

        Then you are completely ignoring what the main organizer of this event has said. If the organizers are thanking us for our action then you cannot really reference them. I’m going to quote it: The counter-protest of 142 equality supporters were behind the NOM gathering before marching to the front of the NOM crowd and assembling on the steps of the Rhode Island State House. The scene was incredible – one that I will never forget. On Sunday, for close to an hour, Queer Action Rhode Island activists looked their opponents in the eye.

        “We wanted to go head to head with them,” said Heather Curley from Queer Action Rhode Island. “I don’t care what NOM or the press will say the [attendance numbers are] – how they will spin it – but I was proud today. I think we had a powerful presence. I think we stood up to them. I think we irritated them and I think they lost their message a little bit today.”

        GUESS WHAT FIONA! We did that. Those of us who actually went to the front, we got them to move to the front of the steps. The original plan was to stay BEHIND NOM, now we faced them. So I don’t really care what you think because frankly, I’m not afraid to say this, you’re wrong. Forcing us to stay behind our enemy made us invisible. Heather has also said that because we faced them and eventually the protest moved to the front, it has sparked a fire in the activist in Rhode Island. So I say it was successful and screw how NOM or anyone else wants to spin it. Civil Rights are not one by standing behind our enemies and letting them tune us out. Civil Rights are won by confronting our enemies and showing that we’re not going to take this lying down.

      • 266. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

        Vito, you are free to have your opinion. And I am equally free to have mine.

        I have no doubt that Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mohandas K. Gandhi would *absolutely* agree with the in-your-face, screaming approach. After all, it proved so effective for them …

        Oh, wait.


      • 267. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm

        And you clearly leave out other people who were in your face, like Malcom X. You cannot ignore history just because it is inconvenient. The Civil Rights Movement was won by different strategies being employed. If you want to go stand on the sidelines and be ignored then do it. If you want to actually do direct actions and force things to happen, you know, get in people’s faces like MLK did when he helped to organize civil disobedience, you know where to find out. Oh wait… that never happened because MLK didn’t want to bother people… *rolls eyes* you’re entitled to your opinion, but nobody is entitled to disregarding history to further their own point.

      • 268. Phillip R  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm

        I agree with you completely Fiona. Honestly, I don’t know why so many people feel that it was warranted. It’s unfortunate because in the end, all it showed was people disrupting a rally and gave the other side more ammunition. That article is a perfect example of the type of publicity that we should be avoiding. I understand that people are revved up and emotional about the issue but that can’t be an excuse to make rash decisions. The other side will bend just about anything against us and occurrences like the shouting match, lesbian makeout session, etc just makes it easier for them to make us out to be the ‘bad guys’ and in turn raise more money from their ‘scared of the homos’ donors. To top it off, we should be above things like this…not resorting to them.

      • 269. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

        Thank you, Philip.

        I have been working toward marriage equality for my gay and lesbian friends for *six years.* I am no tyro where this movement is concerned, and I have discovered that it is *far more effective* to let the opposition look like raving lunatics while you remain calm, reasonable and fact-based.

        Screaming at people doesn’t change their minds.


    • 270. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Vito, you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

      Have a splendid day.

      • 271. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm

        And yet it is you who are distorting facts. You are not entitled to your revisionist history. It is so easy for people to sit behind a keyboard and judge those of us who are out there fighting.

        The Civil Rights movement worked because it got in people’s faces and was disruptive. You don’t think the lunch counter sit ins or boycotts or marches were disruptive?

        You are entitled to your own opinion, no matter how ill-informed and based in revisionist bullsh*t it is. I do enjoy how you just ignore the fact that the organizer of this event has thanked Queer Rising. I guess you ignore it because it blows holes in your entire argument.

      • 272. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

        Vito, I wasn’t going to go there, but now I will.

        I’ve seen your photo. My guess is that you are in your very early 20s.

        I have been working for marriage equality since about the time you hit puberty, little boy. I suggest that you stop trying to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs and oh, I don’t know, listen to the people who know what they’re talking about.

        You are doing nothing but proving NOM’s point. With every post you make, as a matter of fact. I have no doubt that you are phenomenally proud of yourself; you crow more than Chanticleer. However, this is NOT what is going to work over the long haul.

        Your tactics win more points for the opposition.

        Simmer the hell down, little boy.

      • 273. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm

        Vito wrote, of me: It is so easy for people to sit behind a keyboard and judge those of us who are out there fighting.

        Screw you, little boy. Like I said, I have been “out there fighting” for marriage equality since around the time you hit puberty. In case it hasn’t occurred to you, I’ll spell it out — I have SEEN that what you are doing does not work in the long run.

        Your actions only serve to make people think that NOM is correct in their portrayal of GLBT people as hateful and angry. Congratulations.

        Crow over *that,* Chanticleer.

      • 274. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

        Perhaps it is time Grandma got out of the way and let the younger generation actually take charge. this is the problem with the modern movement, the established gay, inc. isn’t listening to the grass roots anymore. Fiona just proves it.

        @Fiona, you don’t know how old I am or how long I have been fighting. I have been out and proud, attending rallies and protest and “educating” in a calm voice since I was 13. So really, grandma, quit being so gay, inc.

        You’re completely ignoring the history of other struggles to try and prove your point. I know exactly what I am doing and know what has been successful. Perhaps if you realized that you can teach an old dog new tricks you wouldn’t be so narrow-minded and realize that we need both types of protest to win equality. You want to make it personal, let’s make it personal. I listen to what other people have to say but listen to my fellow GLBT first, are you one of those letters? From what you said, I doubt it. Go ahead and keep on ignoring what Heather is saying. You’re only proving how stuck in your own little narrowminded world you are.

      • 275. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

        That’s right, Vito. Be sure to try to piss off your allies a little further while you’re at it.

        After all, you don’t need your allies either, right?

        I disagree with your tactics, and I have made it plain. So have others.

        So, if you’re so very right, why don’t you go yell at some more straight people? I am sure it will win converts to the cause at an exponential rate, because you look so rational.

      • 276. Phillip R  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

        And it’s behavior like yours, Vito, that just affirms some of the negative connotations that this group has attached to us.

        I would think the point of these protests is to change opinions and mindsets of the everyday Joe…not rile up activists on both sides who already have a set opinion on the matter. That isn’t going to change the fence sitter’s viewpoint AND helps the opponents. How can that possibly be effective?

        We should be working to show how completely normal we are to the other side. Your inflammatory comments doesn’t accomplish that.

      • 277. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm

        Fiona, if you were merely disagreeing with the actions, you would say it. But instead you’re insulting them and misrepresenting the facts. That is my problem. There is a difference between civilly disagreeing (which you have failed to do) and blatant insults. There are different approaches taken for different protest. Sometimes peaceful works, sometimes getting in their face works. Yesterday we witnessed how getting in their face inspired a group of activist to push themselves into the limelight and take the steps at the RI capitol. The original plan was not to do that. But that is what we need, they push us, we push them. In Maine and Albany, the peaceful protest worked. In RI, we had to get a little rowdy. And when I am in DC (which please, come up to me and say what you’re so willing to say with your fingers to my face) I plan on getting in their face as well. Different protests call for different tactics. So go ahead, try and school us poor young queers, because where would we be without our older straight counterparts to tell us what we should do (because it has worked so well in the past…)

      • 278. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm

        @Phillip, Did you really want to get into the gay liberation vs. gay assimilation debate? That is the road you’re headed down. I guess it would be safe to say that the Queers who resisted at Stonewall should’ve just let themselves get arrested, because Mattachine had it covered with their “normal” homophile protests going on to show how “normal” they are.

      • 279. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

        yes Vito, great point, we’re working towards gay liberation, not assimilation,


        and the other good point is that this is your time your fight, and it’s so encouraging for me to see you take it up with such ownership and enthusiasim

        Tell me is their one point you think we could make, one message to deliver, over and over at every rally, what would it be.

        And also considering you are in N.Y. (right) can you tell me what impact the prop8 trial has for you at that end of the country, Have the equality rising people been following the trial and read the transcripts

      • 280. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm

        Vito, in some circles your comment to me (“Please, come get in my face”) would be taken as a threat of violence.

        Just so you know.

      • 281. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

        Oh please Fiona. I didn’t say that, I said and I quote “which please, come up to me and say what you’re so willing to say with your fingers to my face.” Considering the context of this little conversation, it is so very evident I’m challenging you on just being another pair of fingers on a keyboard. I hope you have a wonderful day, also!

        You have been working on marriage equality for six years, still not as long as I have. So perhaps you should take a lesson. Being as you turned this into a little pissing contest.

      • 282. Phillip R  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

        Well, I disagree wholeheartedly with your actions and viewpoints on it but you’re allowed to have them all the same. Frankly, I think the event was a setback and I wonder how many people’s viewpoints of the GLBT (which includes me) were tarnished by it. I would never associate myself with a group that used tactics such as that. It shows a lack of rationality and respect for the opponents (even if they pay little respect to us).

      • 283. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

        There you go again Fiona, making assumptions about what I have done and what I have been through merely because I look young (thank you by the way!) Really mature! I admonish you to study a little up on the gay liberation struggle and how my kind of actions actually read up on queer theory. But, like I said, based on your idea of what is and what isn’t acceptable, the people being targeted at Stonewall, Black Cat, Compton, or in Montreal should’ve just taken it because their reaction wasn’t peaceful and was confrontational.

        It is correct, you are on the other side of the country. You weren’t there. You weren’t at the protest. You are only reading what some people have to say. Frankly, your opinion is worth about as much as NOM’s is to me.

      • 284. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm

        Trust me, Vito dear. At this point, when I refer to you as a “little boy,” it has nothing do do with your looks.


      • 285. JonT  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

        I… hesitate to step into this – having read the very passionate arguments on both sides of the debate over the last few days regarding passive/silence vs. in-your-face protesting, I have come to the conclusion that both approaches have merit.

        But one statement by vitooliver caught my eye: ‘I have been out and proud, attending rallies and protest and “educating” in a calm voice since I was 13.

        Vito – I would encourage you to keep in mind that were it not for the protests and sacrifices of the ‘old fogies’, you would not have been afforded that opportunity.

        I can’t speak for any of the others here, but at 13, if I had come out, I’d probably be dead, either due to the actions of someone else, or by my own hand.

        I think it’s fucking awesome that you can do what you can do now. It’s obvious progress. It would never have been an option for me.

        I would just urge you not to so easily dismiss the work and sacrifices of those that came before you.

        So, with that, I will step gingerly away from this argument between two advocates, currently pointing virtual knives at each other.


    • 286. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      come on Fiona, this is not “some circles” this is our P8TT site, just say,, do you take that as a threat of violence? then just say that’s the way YOU take it, no how someone in some other circle might.

      hopefully we can disagree, but at least we can communicate directly here

      • 287. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm

        Actually, Bob, I meant exactly what I said.

        In some circles, that would be considered a threat of violence. Legal circles, to be specific.

        I am not afraid of a little boy on the other side of the country from me.

        And Vito? When you have to get the police involved because of a right-wing stalker has found your address and posts it on anti-gay hate sites, with your photograph taken at a peaceful rally, recommending that people kill you for your work on marriage equality? You let me know, okay? Then we’ll talk about who is just fingers on a keyboard.

        Keep playing into NOM’s hands if it floats your boat, Vito. I’m past caring about whether or not you make an ass of yourself in the public square.


      • 288. vitooliver  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        However you want to Grandma… Continue being an advocate for Gay, Inc. Have a good night Grandma.

  • 289. Straight Supporter  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm


    I’ve been following this blog for some time now, and I’m quite happy that there are those willing to go out of their way to support and fight for equality. While I am straight, I realize that I should not have any right to tell people what to do in the privacy of their own lives. Neither should the government have any rights to treat people differently, to offer protections and rights to some and with-hold them from others, based on criteria such as gender, sexual orientation, skin color, etc.

    What do you think would happen if you walked up to someone in the anti-gay crowd and asked for details about the most intimate aspects of their lives? Likely you would be told that it is none of your business. And in the same way, it is none of their business what others do as well.

    Now it seems to me that the opposition to equality in marriage is similar to the opposition against other civil rights battles of the past. What I find most appalling is that it seem most of opposition comes from religious backgrounds. I am aware that there has also been religious people in support of civil rights, but it seems that the most vocal voice against them have been the devout religious fundamentalists and extremists. If you take away the religious component to the opposition, then there is little to no opposition left. Now I’m not religious myself and don’t hold religions as true with exception of some historical events, but for those who are, especially of the Christian religion, what ever happened to “Love thy Neighbor?” What I have read of various oppositions to marriage equality have been quite hate-filled. What happened to “Thou shall not bear false witness?” Misrepresent events or what others say is in my opinion bearing false witness of what happened or was said. Those engage in such activities are liars and hypocrites.

    I was thinking, would it be good to have a day where all across the country people went out to be seen? Instead of just following the NOM tour around one city a day, I think it would be great, if possible, if we could also organize a day where supporters in cities of every state went out to rally for equality all at once.

    • 290. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      This was indeed done, the Saturday after Prop 8 was passed in California. It was carefully timed so that people all over the world would be protesting simultaneously (e.g., in San Jose, we were there at 9 AM whilst in New York they were there at 12 noon).


  • 291. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    @Straight Supporter it doesn’t mean it can’t be done again, thanks for the comment, especially the realization that our only opponent is the religious right,

    @Fiona, did you see the post on the other threaad where Queer Action, thanked Queer Rising folks for their actions?

  • 292. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Not sure if this video has been posted yet. Sorry if it has (I hadn’t seen it.

  • 294. Chris  |  July 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    @vitooliver You do that. Make this whole thing about confronting your enemies instead of winning over friends.

    I’ll just take the liberty of writing Brian Brown’s blog post of the event:

    “Today, the benevolent forces of marriage confronted yet another howling gay mob. To no one’s great surprise, the gay activists screamed obscenities and menaced us, while we stood together in quiet dignity and prayed to God to deliver us from these people.

    Several little old ladies and mothers with children mentioned to me that they felt intimidated by the anger of the homosexual rabble rousers, and I could only agree. If anything, they only established how uncivilized and barbaric they are. I look forward to egging them on at the next rally – maybe we can get a few of them arrested next time! Praise Jesus!”

    Nice work, hero. That’s the image we want to project to the world: angry, violent radicals screaming at those nice old ladies who are just trying to protect children.

    John and fiona64 said it. When you play into peoples’ fears, you just convince them they’re right. And, worse, you convince people who don’t know much about the issue that we’re just as bad as the NOM people are saying we are.

    All the rest of you, who are more interested in venting your wrath than achieving social change: please simmer down or stay home.

    • 295. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      I agree that peaceful is the way to go. Show that we are proud, we have dignity, we have our wits about us even though we have to face their hatred towards us.

      I had thought that it was the older who wanted peaceful, dignified rallys and the younger who wanted to get in their faces…but seems to be even on both sides.

      One way or another, we have to unite. We don’t want to look disorganized.

      • 296. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

        LLB, I am fortunate enough to spend time with some of the “elder statesmen” of the movement (Sky Anderson, Cleve Jones and others) pretty regularly. I follow their examples. Maybe that’s what our youthful friend means by Gay, Inc., but they have been through it all and seen what works.

        You will never convince people by screaming at them, but you can convince them with conversations.


      • 297. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

        Fiona, do you know Cleve Jones, Sky Anderson, well enough to ask them if they could step up and help us organize, we could really use their input and suggestions at this point in time,

      • 298. fiona64  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:09 am

        Bob, Sky is a dear friend of mine. He’s 70 years old and in ill health (with five adopted special needs kids to care for). He does a great deal in the Bay Area, but honestly? I would be hard pressed to ask him to be a national organizer for fear of the toll it would take on him and his family.

        I do not know Cleve as well. He has been a national figure in the past. I will talk to him at the next opportunity.


      • 299. Bob  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

        Thanks Fiona, it would be great if you could make the call, the sooner the better,

        You are fottunate to have Sky, as a dear friend, certainly a dear friend would be able to have a convesation exchange some ideas, over a coffee, pick his brain, any feedback would be helpful.

        Does he have any connections, obviously this blog is growing, which is good, we now are recieving input from Activist Organizations, how do we work with them?

        How can we choose someone who can take the lead, co-ordinate all this energy, and channel it to it’s highest good.

        Or perhaps just let things unfold as they are, which still might be just fine, most of the feedback from the people on this blog from RI has been very positive, and their rally morphed into somethng they didn’t foresee, which I think is part of the nature of the beast.

        Anyway Fiona, thanks for any help or input,

      • 300. fiona64  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

        Hi, Bob. A regular part of Sky’s and my discussions concern outreach and actions. He is such a font of history, wisdom and information.

        We (meaning Metropolitan Community Church of San Jose, where Sky is the community life pastor) are working on an increased partnership with the Billy deFrank Center (the local LGBT community center), which is seeing a lot of its funding cut (it’s a non-profit) — but which is still doing a lot of good work. Once I have some more information on activities with BDF, I will update the group.


    • 301. Heather  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      Chris and Fiona,
      I don’t agree with you. i think that you need several different tactics right now. The rallies and waiting have not worked for us we need new tactics. Civil Disobedience is not for everyone but if people want to do it they can and should. How can we tell people what to do? Every movement needs a Martin Luther King and a Malcolm X. Some can be peaceful and others can be more into direction action initiatives. It’s hard to find a balance but I think we can. I’m not upset at all with Vito and his group for what they did. They had a right to do that if they wanted to. And it worked. People in RI are more amped up then they have been in years. I think it was a good thing and I planned this protest.
      And Bob you ask how we can do something big. I would love to talk further about DC being huge. How amazing would that be. Their last stop in DC of all places. I think we need to start planning and looking at that now. I think it’s time to go big. I know others disagree but that’s ok. You can do your thing and I’ll do mine and we’ll respect each other. We are after the same thing but we have different strategies. But when it finally passes I hope we are all standing there together!

      • 302. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

        Well, Heather, we will just have to agree to disagree.

      • 303. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm

        How many here are on FB? I think the DC stop would be the perfect place for all of us to have all of the Equality Ride busses meet up. But I cannot organize this thing alone. Yes, we have a page on FB, and if you go to the P8TT group and find me, then send a friend request I will send you an invitation to the FB page. But we truly need more than 186 people from all over the US, and even if you yourself cannot go, I still need help with people who are willing to step up to the plate and find out travel times from your local area, and get everybody within a 50-mile radius who wants to go co-ordinated and signed up. And this includes fundraising to cover the costs for those who would otherwise not be able to go. Let’s do this people!

      • 304. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

        @Heather, i just reread your post, did you say you planned the RI protest???? wow that’s hudge, what an experience, how did that come about, which organization are you with?

        Did you read Richards post below, he’s working on the D.C. rally,

        I agree, it would be great to have a hudge turnout,

      • 305. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm

        Actually, Bob, the FB page “Let’s All Unite for Equality and Ride to Washington, DC at One Time” was started before the NOM hate tour. But while planning with Felyx what we are going to do in Raleigh for that stop, I got to thinking–they are probably going to make the DC stop their big blowout, as others have said, so why not get everybody here to sign up for the Equality Rides and see how many folks we can get in DC? I sent my other admin on the FB page a PM about it. But will still need everybody to make a definite commitment to this in order for it to work. That means that some of the folks are going to have to coordinate their local group and get with us on what the travel time is so that we can arrive at the same time from all over the country.

  • 306. Steven Goldstein, Chair and CEO of Garden State Equality  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    NOM is coming to New Jersey on Tuesday, July 20th. Here’s what Garden State Equality is doing in response, and what we would like those on our side NOT to do in response.

    At 11:30 am in Conference Room 6 of the State House Annex, 125 West State Street in Trenton, we’re holding a town meeting featuring same-sex couples and their children talking about the profound psychological harm that the deprivation of marriage equality has on them.

    Outside, we’re letting NOM be the symbol of hate and fake families. Inside, we’ll be about love and real families.

    We’re directing our supporters, whether from Garden State Equality or those visting New Jersey from out-of-state, NOT to engage with NOM at their rally outside the State House. Don’t tuant, heckle or even surround them.

    Walk right by them and join us Tuesday at 11:30 am in Conference Room 6 of the State House Annex, 125 West State Street in Trenton.

    In New Jersey, we don’t have to turn our message into a pissing match over who can turn out more folks. On the lobby days between Thanksgiving and early January during our legislative fight for marriage equality, we turned out 7,000 people. Our opposition turned out 700. The press reported the numbers accurately. Few in New Jersey think the comparative organizing efforts are a close call.

    Thanks. Steven Goldstein, Chair and CEO, Garden State Equality,

    • 307. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      Great, I think each city needs someone to take the lead.

      Good luck Steven.

    • 308. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you, Steven. I hope that your guests pay attention to your very reasonable requests.


    • 309. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      GSE is very well organized by Steven and his colleagues; I hope that visitors heed his advice and that everything goes according to plan! Best wishes!

    • 310. Straight Grandmother  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

      Wow! Impressive numbers. Would you have an idea how many you are expecting for tomorrow?

    • 311. Dave P.  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      I’m not a fan of harassing or confronting NOM because it ruins our message to the public and the press. But I’m also not a fan of hiding our events away from the public and the press. Unless folks in the general public happen to be taking a shortcut through Conference Room 6 on their way to the vending machine, how does this event get our message out to the public? Please tell me you at least have lots of confirmed plans for TV and press coverage for the event. Otherwise the whole event would just be “preaching to the choir” and a waste of time.

      • 312. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

        Ditto what Dave P said, , can you explain what you are hoping to get across, or do you have a messge or point to make by doing it this way……….

    • 313. Sue  |  July 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      Why are we letting NOM come into our states and playing nice with them? And this is why same sex marriage won’t be passed in these states.

    • 314. Michael  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm

      This is not the way to get our message out. We need to be outside confronting the anti-gay advocacy group NOM. If Nazis were touring the US, would Jewish Americans ignore them? If the KKK were touring the US, would African Americans ignore them? If a group supporting rape were touring America, would victims of rape ignore them? No to all these. Then why are we hiding in conference rooms instead of contronting radical anti-gay activists whose goal is first to eradicate our rights and then us?

  • 315. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I have a question,

    we have many ideas about what to do, or how to act.

    but can we come up with ONE POINT that we want to make, lets let go for a minute of how to counter protest, and see if we can reach a consensus about what our goal is.

    can we have a simple clear message that comes across each time, every time,

    • 316. Mark M  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      Suggestions Bob?
      What do you think it should be?
      For me it would be
      “We are as Good as You”
      “Equality is the RIGHT Thing to Do”

      • 317. fiona64  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm

        “Fear is not a family value.”

      • 318. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        Friends of Marriage Equality

    • 319. PamC  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      You know, it’s interesting, I remember when “We’re here; we’re queer; get used to it” was the slogan of the times. Well, it does seem that people have, in many ways, “gotten used to it”–we’re visible in media, movies/tv, etc., and have more political allies & representatives than ever before. I do like the new generation of activists coming up for their energy and yes, for their impatience, too.

      This board has focused so much on marriage, by its very nature (the P8 trial), that we may have lost sight of the overall nature of predetermined, enforced minority status. The whole mindset of second-class citizenship is harder to shed the longer you’ve been used to it.

      My spouse & I (together 12 years; civilized 4 years) went to the local town hall three hours ago to get a marriage license because we wanted to marry in CT and not just “rollover” into married status come October 1st. We found that we were both jittery entering the town clerk’s office! And the two women behind the counter were just fabulous. Apparently they’d handled a boatload of same-sex marriage licenses–who knew that little ol’ Westbrook was a destination wedding site for gays? But one in particular was impressed that we actually lived in Westbrook: “How shocking!” she said jokingly. They both wished us their best, and were very genuine. “See you around town!” were their parting words.

      Now, over lunch, we talked about how in a perfect world we might have had ordinary jitters, but not the kind of wary expectation of a potential hard time or disapproval or even cold shoulder. I’m 50 and Cathy’s 49, and we’ve been thru our share of homophobic treatment by your garden variety bigots. But the expectation of such treatment, even when it’s just on the back burner, is a rotten way for anyone to live.

      What do we want? Equal rights and equal treatment, not just under the law, but by most ordinary folks. When do we want this? Now, of course!

      I hope our varying approaches can converge, and that we can all stand together, queer family & allies, especially as we shed the skins of old fear-bound mindsets and walk more freely, in the open at long last.

      • 320. JonT  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm

        Wow PamC. Very well said. We are, after all on the same side.

        Standing O from me!


      • 321. Alicia Ortiz, Albany Organizer (Albany Queer Rising)  |  July 22, 2010 at 8:01 am

        Ditto. I just posted an entire statement all about this before I realized you had written something similar.

        Congrats to you & Cathy!

  • 322. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    okay, great ideas, so far I like Fiona’s “Fear is not a family value”

    and I also like the word equality, and gee I just thought , that is really close, to what I think NOMers are experiencing, the fear of being equal to us. or us to them, but that we’re all the same.

    so let’s keep working on it, and hopefully get as charged about this discussion, so we find something, one point or message that we all can feel really PASSIONATE about,

    and we also have to figure out, how we will convey that message or point, so that after all the noise, and different videos, and all the spinning, one thing stands out.

    personally I’d like that to link in some way to the trial transcripsts, to get people to want to go there and have a look for themselves, is that possible??? the truth is there in black and white,


  • 323. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    wow PamC, that made me cry, thanks, now I’m thinking

    RIGHTS=RIGHTS (yours mine ours) and it sort of hits the base and includes people who don’t have a present emotional investment, like the single gays, for Mark M, who’s rights, everyones rights that’s what’s at stake

    • 324. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, Bob, it is about EVERYBODY’s rights. Even the rights of our United States LGBT’s whose spouses cannot be with them because they are not citizens here, and they are not allowed to sponsor them in under the current immigration laws. It is about our men and women in uniform who cannot even have the normal conversations about their home lives because that would get them fired from their jobs under DADT. It is about our transgenders who risk losing their jobs, or may even risk not being hired for a job unless we can get a totally inclusive ENDA passed this year. It is about the right of those of us whose religious beliefs are not identical to BB and the rest of the NOM supporters, and we don’t want our rights trampled on any more. The time for equality is NOW!

  • 325. Dave in Maine  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Oh, my.

    I just caught that youtube clip of the tongues that speak.

    I don’t think that there’s much that NOM can show us doing that will counteract THIS in the eyes of the fence-sitters. Do they want to be associated with loving families that are different or with old men who speak in tongues??

    Jiminy cricket! Wow.

  • 326. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Jiminy cricket!!! is right just wait till you see that next thread with shocking video of the threatened mother, at least they got her to say the words (protect my faimily)

  • 327. Don  |  July 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Wow . Wonder if they even know Hebrew the true translation of bible not mans stylist just as Jesus man killed him with stupidity . Ask the sinner farewell about god. They all are jokes to what Christ said about love

  • 328. Jenny G  |  July 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Yesterday was AMAZING. Thank you Queer Action and Meri for putting together such a well orchestrated counter protest. I really liked the visual of it looking like we were chasing them out of there! GREAT JOB!

    • 329. Sue  |  July 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Just a clarification MERI was not involved. They are an organization in RI that has done absolutely jack shit in RI except for taking donations and the same old rally routine. They are the local HRC here in RI. Queer Action and Queer Rising did this.

      This is the first protest that has ever even gotten press or made any sort of waves. Down with the old regime and in with the new!

      • 330. Dave in Maine  |  July 20, 2010 at 4:33 am

        I am not sure I understand what you mean by saying “this is the first protest that has ever gotten press or made any sort of waves.” Are you talking about Rhode Island, or anywhere?

  • 331. Bob  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Sue, yahoooo right on “this is the first protest that has ever even gotten press or made any sort of waves” what does MERI stand for, we’ve heard of other groups taking donations but not taking any action,

  • 332. Michael  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    And again, no pro-equality people of faith. Where are our prayer vigils? Why aren’t we praying to remove the demons of homophobia? We aren’t we surrounding them, holding hands and praying for equality? For too long, we are letting unrepentant homophobes pretend to be the voice of Christ. They are not, but as long as we let them get away with it, they will continue the charade.

    • 333. Alicia Ortiz, Albany Organizer (Albany Queer Rising)  |  July 22, 2010 at 8:05 am

      I think Raleigh is planning a prayer-in.

  • 334. Susan Pentecost  |  July 20, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I live in California now but Rhode Island is my home state. You all did me proud and I can’t wait til this circus train arrives in California. My whole family is waiting for them. The numbers are good but I’d like to see them out numbered 4 to 1. Keep up the good work!!!

  • […] Maine and New Hampshire to New York and Rhode Island our intrepid staffers have been capturing the sights and sounds of the fight for marriage equality […]

  • 336. Al  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Here’s a behind-the-scenes take on the anti-NOM protest in Providence:

    • 337. JonT  |  July 21, 2010 at 2:47 am

      Thanks for that!

      A good read :)

  • 338. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Vito’s response to NOMs Shocking Breaking News ‘not so worthy news’ on July 21, 2010

  • 339. Alicia Ortiz, Albany Organizer (Albany Queer Rising)  |  July 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Hey Friends,

    So I’ve been reading through more of these posts, and thinking….

    Honestly, any action can be powerful when we’re ORGANIZED. That’s really the most important aspect in my mind. And each action calls for different tactics.

    For example, we anticipated in Albany that NOM’s crowd would be small. It didn’t take many of us to surround them and make them look even smaller. We chose to remain silent and turn our backs to them, which is a strong statement. We also got uncomfortably close to their space, invading their PA system and podium area. They were pissed and called the cops, who screamed at us, but eventually were told by supervisors that we had the right to be there. We messed up their photo ops and frankly, I was tickled pink about it for the rest of the day :)

    When I saw all of the photos from Providence, with everyone wearing red (super organized), the creative signs and marching down the street with over 100 people, I was moved to tears. I thought to myself, “damn… maybe we should’ve done that in Albany instead of what we decided to do. It’s so strong.”

    And THEN, I saw the testimonies from the press conference in Trenton, NJ… (and if you haven’t heard the gut-wrenching testimony of Madison Galluccio about being proud to be the daughter of her two fathers, you must find it on youtube), with tears rolling down my face, I thought, “now THAT is powerful… that’s a great response.. maybe we should’ve organized something like that!”

    But the truth of the matter is that anything and everything we do is powerful, because we are standing up TOGETHER.

    We learn from each other, get ideas from each other, we can implement them later if we want, or support one another in accomplishing their different (but related) goals.

    This country is huge… and I’m so proud and impressed that there are radical LGBTQ direct-action-oriented groups popping up all over the place. It’s important that we (ironically as I’m typing this) get off the computer and get out into the streets.

    In Albany we named ourselves after Queer Rising in NYC, which was formed about a month earlier, b/c I saw what folks like Natasha & Alan were doing (crashing former-senator Monserrate’s holiday party, etc), and invited Alan to Albany for our very first community meeting… before we had a name or anything.

    Since then, Albany Queer Rising has focused much of it’s attention on transgender equality, stirring up a ruckus around GENDA, the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (would amend NYS human rights law to eliminate discrimination based on gender identity/expression). We’ve teamed up heavily with the state-wide organization Housing Works ( “committed to ending the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness”) and got people used to using a bullhorn, leafleting, being loud, strategic, and having an action-oriented mind set. Lots of people hadn’t really done anything like that before.

    article here:

    My personal goal as a leader of Albany Queer Rising is massive community organizing. Bringing together seasoned activists and brand new folks (who may not be ready to risk arrest yet), people of all ages and background.

    The beauty of LGBTQ people is that we span across economic, age, racial and ethnic boundaries. Everyone is affected. And therefore every other progressive issue is intertwined with LGBTQ equality & justice.

    When Alan came to Albany to train us in civil disobedience, folks from all different networks were there. People working on immigration reform, worker’s rights/organized labor, rights for people with disabilities, etc. It was awesome having so many different activists.

    Everyone has a role to play in demonstrations, and building relationships with each other help us build trust (important when a protest has potential for violence or arrest). Organizing ahead of time, when possible, or entrusting leadership of the group to a few people can make the action that much stronger.

    For example, Alan told me that in NYC when folks were arrested in February at the marriage license bureau, there were organizations who preferred to chant loudly as a supportive crowd to the few who chose to be arrested. And everybody knew what was going on ahead of time.

    If we have the time (which we do for August 15th in DC), I would love to see different strategies come together and have like a ripple, domino effect. Just when NOM (and/or the media) think we’re done, something else happens… whether it’s a banner drop, chanting, a group being arrested…

    I also hope that local leadership in DC is working to get other networks involved (does anyone know who some lead organizers are in DC for this counter demonstration?) There’s plenty of unions who would represent, educators, youth groups, economic justice organizations, etc.

    We’re stronger together.

  • […] was one of the more controversial stops on the NOM tour, the scene of some tense confrontations: equality supporters shouting at Brown, two men praying in tongues (our most viewed video from the […]


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