New NOM tour videos: We report, you decide. Loving families or lunatic fringe?

July 20, 2010 at 7:05 am 34 comments

By Eden James

If week one of NOM’s “Summer for Marriage” tour is any indication of what’s to come over the next four weeks, buckle your seatbelts.

From 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 — not just at NOM’s rallies, but at counter-protests and interviews with individuals and families on both sides of the debate at each stop.

The footage speaks for itself, though we apologize that the audio quality on some of our early videos is poor — we were still working out some kinks on the first leg of the tour.

First stop, Maine.

In Augusta, Danny Segura caught up with Erin, James, Janelle, and Anna, to learn about why their family came out to the counter press-conference at the first stop on NOM’s tour. And within seconds, he got his answer:

”It’s important for our family to have the same legal rights that any other family would have.”

Our team’s next stop was the NOM Rally in Augusta.

We got to talk with an attendee whose hand-made sign was even highlighted in the local press. The conversation started with …“The homosexual lifestyle is a lie basically, because it comes with disease, it comes with human failure,” and pretty much went downhill from there.

In New Hampshire, Danny and Robert Oliver met a couple of recent NOM recruits that were encouraged to attend by their local church. Hallelujah, though the man’s initial argument against marriage equality (“if they want to do that, that’s fine…but do they have to make a law?”) comes across as a re-run of Prop 8 trial Defense Attorney Charles Cooper telling Judge Vaughn Walker during his closing that “I don’t have any evidence.”

So it goes on the NOM Tour:

In Albany, New York, our team caught up with Noreen and Roy — the proud parents of five sons, three of whom are gay. Their story is a powerful one. Check it out:

Danny asked both Noreen and Roy to sum up their feelings in a sentence, and considering what NOM has been spewing across the Northeast this past week, their comments are worth repeating once more.

Noreen: “By accepting all people, I certainly have more people to love… and that makes my life better.”

Roy: “People need to know we are here to love one another, not to hate one another and certainly not to fear one another.”

To anyone wondering which side is peddling hate, fear and intolerance on this tour, the contrast we have seen thus far leaves little doubt.

NOM President Brian Brown has said the NOM Tour will “counteract the media blackout,” on NOM’s iStockphoto imagery and long since debunked talking points. If this was really NOM’s cause, you’d think they would have joined the nearly 140,000 Americans who signed petitions from the Courage Campaign calling for the historic Prop 8 federal trial to be televised.

We want Brian Brown to know that here at the NOM Tour Tracker, there will be no media blackout. This site, like Testimony: Equality on Trial, is for anyone who supports loving American families and equality under the law.

And we’d welcome anyone on either side of this debate who is willing to come forward, tell their story, and answer a few of our questions.

Even you, Brian.

In the meantime, we hope NOM Tour Tracker readers will let us know what you think of the videos, and if you can, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help us keep our team on the road documenting these events and the people that are showing up to them, on both sides.

Today the NOM tour is arriving in New Jersey for the next event. More to come soon…

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

NOM’s “shocking” video of mother “harassed” at Albany tour stop Happening now: NOM Tour lands in New Jersey, Garden State Equality responds

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:09 am

    We really need videos on our side, not just NOMosexuals’ videos about their rallies promoting openly their radical NOMosexual agenda!

  • 2. Sagesse  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:34 am

    These interviews (even with NOM supporters) shift the discussion to where it belongs… to families. Very well done, even with a few technical rough edges. Please keep it up.

  • 3. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Brian Brown is ready to run for a national political office. He has already mastered the skill of talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

    • 4. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

      Actually, Ray, he has also mastered the art of talking out of another orifice while still talking out of both sides of his mouth. So yes, he is ready to run for whatever office he is seeking. And I am ready to help make sure he loses.

  • 5. MJFargo  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Just to remind everyone: These are the exact tactics (hate speece from a very well-organized, far-reaching network of people) that passed Prop 8. We should not be amused. We should counter with everything we’ve got.

  • 6. Alan McCornick  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:53 am

    What a stunning contrast between love and fear comes through in these videos. What a sobering picture of how much work there is to do to persuade people one at a time it’s their fear talking, not their scriptures. What lucky guys, the five sons of that couple. What a beautiful family, those lesbian ladies blessed with possibly the cutest kids in the world. These videos are priceless. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • 7. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for this. Trust me, we will be ready for them in Raleigh, NC. Roy and Noreen brought tears of joy and gratitude to my eyes.

  • 8. Kerri  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Wow, that woman in Maine is horrible .. she needs to be educated!

    • 9. Chris B  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:41 am

      I know! This woman has some bad info.

      I couldn’t hear the “life expectancy” number she quoted. (Probably the number taken from the 1997 Vancouver study, which studied men in the years 1987 to 1992, before many of the current AIDS drugs were developed). [On a side note, an anti-gay person recently quoted to me an AIDS statistic from 1988. Talk about outdated statistics!]

      And what’s with the antibiotic talk? I don’t know anyone on antibiotics (ok, my boyfriend is as of yesterday, but it is because his tooth is cracked and he needs a root canal).

      Wish they had asked her if, since marriage is for procreation, a 60-year-old couple should be allowed to marry. Or where in the Bible it condemns polygamy?

      But these people don’t really want the truth. They want the snippets of facts or sound bites which support their pre-formed opinion.

  • 10. Elsie  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Beautiful <3

  • 12. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:25 am

    This just in via email…
    It’s clear from this email that he can’t spell…  Uh-huh!


    What a weekend we had on the NOM Summer for Marriage Tour, with unbelievable stops in Albany and Providence!

    Great turnout both places, with around 100 supporters in Albany on Saturday, and more than 200 on Sunday in Providence. But it was the protestors [sic] who turned out that really made things memorable. They like to cloak themselves in the color of the rainbow, but they sure showed their true colors as intolerant, inconsiderate bullies who shout down and insult anyone who disagrees with them, including women and children.

    Here’s the scoop:

    It started Saturday in Albany. Those following our Twitter feed (follow us!) may have already seen my comments: “Silliest. Protest. Ever.” was how I described the pictures on Saturday. Right in the middle of a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, a bunch of people with umbrellas started walking up on stage. I told them we had a permit for the space, but they refused to leave. Shortly, the Capitol police came out and said to the protestors [sic] — You know that the marriage tour has a permit here . . . you should leave. But still they hung around, holding their rainbow-colored umbrellas and balloons.

    I had to smile . . . certain that the protestors [sic] just don’t realize how badly their militancy comes off looking when they crash someone else’s rally. The American people know the value of playing fair. This was our rally in support of marriage. Let them have their own rally — to each his own — but what’s to be gained by making a spectacle at someone else’s rally? All it did was raise the profile of our event and show them to be the intolerant bunch they are.

    This was made crystal clear in their behavior to a Hispanic woman who had brought her family out to the rally with a picnic lunch. During the rally she moved to the back to nurse her baby. A bunch of male protestors [sic] followed her with their rainbow umbrellas and stood directly in front of her, blocking her view of the stage. She asked them to move, or at least turn around while she fed her baby, and they refused. Classy.

    You really ought to see the 2-minute interview we did with the woman afterwards. My words here don’t do it justice. It’s pretty powerful. Click here to watch the video.

    But it was in Providence on Sunday that the protestors [sic] really went crazy.

    I’ve never seen anything like it. Chatter on the gay blogs had given us a heads-up that the Providence protestors [sic] intended to “out-do” their friends in Albany. Still, they told the Capitol police that all they planned was to assembly peacefully behind us on the Capitol lawn and demonstrate their support for gay marriage.

    That lasted about 5 minutes.

    Then they came around behind our rally and tried to shout over us. Then they came right into our crowd, getting in people’s faces and shouting at our marriage supporters. At one point while I was delivering my remarks, three protestors [sic] physically surrounded me and got right up in my face, trying to shout me down as Capitol police did nothing. Despite having ten days to prepare for the rally, and numerous calls from our state director to check on their preparations, Capitol police were totally unprepared and eventually had to call in state troopers to help restore order.

    Throughout the event, the protestors [sic] were disgraceful. Mocking religion. Mocking children. I mean, what kind of adult goes up to a 7-year-old child and sneers, “Mommy raising you to be a good little bigot?”

    We’ve just uploaded a video recap of Sunday’s rally in Providence. It’s hard to capture the intensity of the moment, even with the video footage, but you need to see it. These are the people who want to control our culture’s understanding of marriage, family, and tolerance. Click here to watch now.

    During the interviews afterwards, even the gay press seemed embarrassed by the display of hatred and intolerance from these activists. There was no need for us to comment — these protestors’ [sic] actions spoke for themselves. Not only did they truly embarrass themselves and their cause, they made our point far more powerfully than we could ever hope to do, making it crystal clear how far they are willing to go to force their agenda on all of society.

    If gay marriage ever becomes the law in Rhode Island, or any other state, remember this display of intolerance when they tell you they would never dream of forcing it on young children in public schools, as they did in Massachusetts and California.

    I think gay marriage advocates are just beginning to realize what a disaster Sunday’s unseemly behavior was for them. The New Jersey group organizing a counter-rally in Trenton even sent an urgent message to its members yesterday afternoon, urging them to not interfere with our Marriage Tour rally: “Walk right by them if you see them. We don’t taunt them, harass them or shout them down.”

    Meanwhile, our supporters were outstanding! Many were in prayer, all were peaceful, and left more determined than ever to stand firm for marriage in Rhode Island. Before the protest, we had steady signups at the Two Million for Marriage table. Afterwards, we were absolutely flooded with supporters, newly galvanized in their commitment to protect marriage!

    We have a message of tolerance and respect for all, adults and children alike. Theirs is a message of intolerance and hatred — if you don’t agree with me, you’re a bigot and we’re going to either shout you down or intimidate you into silence. That’s no civil rights movement.

    Our movement is growing. We’re in Trenton today, where we’re looking forward to an even bigger crowd.

    Follow all the tour coverage at Go tell your friends. Then come on out to join us on the tour!

    Brian S. Brown
    National Organization for Marriage
    2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
    Washington, DC  20006

  • 13. Alan E.  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Subscribing! (Can we PLEASE make it so we don’t have to do this “subscribe” crap to be able to keep up with the continuing conversations?)

    • 14. JonT  |  July 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      Me too. And yes, I hate having to subscribe every post. 3 more to go today :)

  • 15. Steve  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:41 am

    “if they want to do that, that’s fine…but do they have to make a law?”

    Uh, yes they do. Because otherwise it’s illegal or has no legal consequence. *facepalm*

    Just shows that a lot of those people act based on ignorance than informed opinions.

  • 16. Heather  |  July 20, 2010 at 8:45 am

    It’s hard to capture the intensity because it did not happen the way he said it. I am from Providence, I organized it, and I still stand behind what we did. Something happened finally.

    • 17. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

      I support you Heather! Many of us do. There is a place for intensity. No, it is not the ‘prettiest’ message to see people screaming and yelling. But it is a powerful message to show that sugar-coated bigotry will still me met with fierce resistance. There are many people sitting at home who feel like they can get away with hate speech; protesting like this lets them know that they may be met with resistance. Bullying and hate-speech flourishes in a vacuum of weakness and fear. But bold resistance deters those who would be bullies and hatemongers. Brian was quick to stand behind a cop and taunt…but that time is coming to an end.

      Some of us will fight. Some of us will stay behind the scenes and lobby. Some of us will scream silently in protest like in Albany. Some like Equality NC will do nothing so as not to fuel the fire. Some will bring lawsuits. Some will dance and sing and celebrate. And some like Fluffyskunk will carry on the most important of all tasks, that of living out life quietly at home raising the next generation to love and be free!

      We all have our parts to play. Let’s play them! The future is inevitable. We will have our liberties!


  • 18. Straight Supporter  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I see that NoM is planning a stop for Raleigh, NC. I know there are quite a few universities in the area including NCSU, UNC, and Merideth. I attended NCSU and it seems that most of the people were fairly tolerant and open minded even to people of differing sexual orientations.

    I’m of the opinion that the more educated people are the more likely they are to be tolerant while the less educated may be more intolerant. This isn’t to suggest causation; I know some educated bigots and less educated people who are very friendly and tolerant of others. But it seems that people who are more driven to education, even if only self educated, are more open to challenges even to their own personal views and are more willing to learn about all sides of an issue. That is part of education, learning that perhaps you were wrong and being willing to accept it. It seems that people who are less driven to education are less open to challenges to their personal views and less willing to really learn about the other sides of an issue.

    I think it would be great if everyone who knows some students or faculty who would support equality in marriage tells them about it and asks them pass it on to just a few others perhaps we could get a large turnout. Even if they can’t attend personally, if they can pass the word on to others who would support that would be great.

    NCSU has about 30,000 students. If we could get just one percent to attend the protest against NoM, that would be 300 from NCSU alone. Added to the other universities as well as non-student supporters who plan on attending, I would love to see a turnout with a thousand supporters and just a handful for NoM. Maybe I’m overly-optimistic though.

    • 19. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:57 am

      You are right, Straight Supporter. Raleigh is a college town. In fact, in this part of NC, our pride festivities usually take place in September so that more of the students are on campus and in town, able to celebrate with us. We are working on it.

    • 20. Bob  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Greaat idea, any students on here, or anyone near there who might be able to go over and place some posters advertising the event?

    • 22. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:22 am

      I have to comment here being a Raleigh-ite. Currently the schools are in summer session so there are far fewer students right now. Moreover, EqNC and the other political action organizations want to just boycott NOM. There might be a few individuals showing up fer personal reasons but I would not expect much. I am guessing NOM will just get away without any action this time….what a disappointment.


  • 23. Stephanie  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I know this is being picky and off topic, sort of. But did anyone realize that the woman holding the handmade sign clearly had some issues spelling? “one man, one women” maybe she thinks polygamy is okay?

    Fact of the matter, she does need to be educated on many, many levels.

    • 24. Steve  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      Of course it’s okay. The Bible says so!

    • 25. VRAlbany  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      OMFG! I noticed that too! Did you also see how the end of the word “marriage” was covered up and re-written out in apparently another spelling mishap?
      I’m not going to claim that she’s under-educated. I know a lot of really smart people who were never good at spelling. But come on. If you’re going to go in public and make such an important statement, you should make an effort to look like you have your s#!t together in your head!

  • 26. Heather Sheridan  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I am anxiously awaiting news from todays rally and counter protest. For those that may be interested I am trying to start a local Chapter of Queer Rising here in Syracuse NY, I have sent an email to Queer Rising and have started a facebook page the profile page is here.

  • 27. yvette  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:39 am

    thank you so much for giving us a voice! keep it up!

  • 28. couragecampaign  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

    For my perpective, the most powerful counterprotest is showing that our side is about love, theirs about intolerance, small-mndedness and fear. Let NOM be NOM. Let them speak in tongues, dislike LGBT people, and dislike America. That’s who they really are. Brian Brown is running a business. What will he do once the courts and the people show that America is about the tapestry that makes us strong, not about the walls of fear that make us weak?

    Show them quietly that we stand for love and compassion. Let them frustrate in their artifice. Let NOM be NOM.

    I am deeply impressed by the local groups that are taking this on. Consider this blog and Courage as a resource. The community is with you!

    Rick Jacobs.

    • 29. Bob  |  July 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      Rick, thanks for that, good to have some input about your perspective on all this, and thanks for the resource the community is grateful

  • 30. Kathleen  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Kudos to the people making these videos. I admire your ability to remain cool in the face of such intolerance. Eyes on the Prize!

    • 31. Kathleen  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Oops. Forgot to subscribe.

  • […] me repeat the offer we made to Brian today. He’s welcome to post here anytime he wants and take questions from our […]

  • […] debate a platform here at, as well as at Testimony: Equality on Trial. We’ve instructed our crews to interview supporters on both sides, and we have. But today, as NOM has done in courtrooms, ballot boxes, legislatures and public […]

  • 34. Carpool Kathleen  |  August 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    The guy speaking in tongues freaks me out.

    Yeah, that’s a stable guy to follow!


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