Happening now: NOM Tour lands in New Jersey, Garden State Equality responds

July 20, 2010 at 9:20 am 34 comments

By Eden James

Get ready for a big day in New Jersey.

Right now, our team is on the ground in Trenton for the next tour stop on NOM’s “Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman” tour. Garden State Equality has organized a town hall right now “featuring same-sex couples and their children talking about the effect being denied marriage equality has on them.”

Their press release is below, including a new video they launched today timed to coincide with the town hall meeting and NOM’s tour stop. Check it out below.

We’ll be updating this Garden State Equality town-hall meeting thread as events develop and then starting a NOM tour event thread as soon as possible thereafter, including pictures, etc.

Anti-marriage equality legislators admit the failure of New Jersey’s
civil union law. Watch now at http://www.youtube.com/GardenStateEquality

Garden State Equality releases the video today as the anti-equality “National
Organization for Marriage” stops at the State House in Trenton on its national tour

To counter our opponents, Garden State Equality holds a town meeting at
11:30 am today, Tuesday, in Committee Room 6 of the State House Annex

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Contact: Steven Goldstein

In a state where the Governor and several conservative activists have endorsed the civil union law as a way to avoid marriage equality – saying the civil union law already provides equality to New Jersey’s same-sex couples – Garden State Equality has just released a damning two-and-half-minute video in which state Senators who voted against marriage equality confess that the civil union law has failed.

The video, titled “Confessions,” is viewable now at: http://www.youtube.com/GardenStateEquality

“Activists who oppose marriage equality, and even the Christie Administration, defend the civil union law by saying it works. But their own champions in the state legislature say otherwise,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality. “Now we’ve put those confessions on tape for all the world to see. This is just a fraction of what Senators who oppose marriage equality confessed about the civil union law’s failure when they voted against marriage equality months ago.”

Garden State Equality released the video today, when the anti-LGBT “National Organization for Marriage” holds a rally against marriage equality at the State House in Trenton, part of its national anti-equality tour.

To further counter the “National Organization for Marriage” rally, Garden State Equality is holding a town meeting at the State House today at 11:30 am, in Committee Room 6 of the State House Annex, featuring same-sex couples and their children talking about the effect being denied marriage equality has on them.

Garden State Equality’s town meeting is part of a pro-equality tour across the United States organized by Freedom to Marry, our national counterpart.

The moderator of Garden State Equality’s town meeting will be Mary Jean Weston, MSW, LCSW, assistant executive director of the National Association of Social Workers-New Jersey. Also at the town meeting will be Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, and Maritza Braswell, attorney at McCarter & English, New Jersey’s largest law firm. Lambda Legal is currently seeking marriage equality in a lawsuit before the New Jersey Supreme Court. McCarter & English prepared Garden State Equality’s amicus brief in the lawsuit – a brief focusing on the devastating psychological impact the deprivation of marriage equality has on children with same-sex parents and on LGBT children themselves.

In fact, the families at Garden State Equality’s town meeting today are real families from across New Jersey experiencing real pain. In contrast, the families featured in photos on the side of the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-equality tour bus are actors in stock photos available for purchase on line, as revealed by Jeremy Hooper of the blog Good As You. See Hooper’s investigation and photographic proof at http://tinyurl.com/NOMstockbus

Stay tuned to this thread for more updates…

UPDATE 12:48 PM EST: This just in from Courage staffer Arisha Michelle Hatch, on the ground in Trenton:

Nearly 200 (estimate; hand-count coming soon) Marriage equality supporters (a hand-count confirmed 158 attendees) gathered for a Townhall at the New Jersey State House in Trenton on Tuesday. The forum, led by Garden State Equality was not only professionally executed, but also served as a stunning contrast to the last tour stop in Rhode Island.

Surrounded by a throng of reporters, same-sex couples and their children shared their stories -– their own personal Testimonies — as to why marriage is important to their families.

“Words mean a great deal to me,” commented one woman, a speech pathologist, who is also one of the original plaintiff’s from the New Jersey marriage cases. “And because of that the word marriage means a great deal to me.”

Under direction from Garden State Equality, marriage supporters walked past the NOM rally into an annex building, passing by the small NOM rally attended by 48 people (that’s a hand-count and it’s probably 28 if you subtract NOM staff).

About 5 Garden State Equality volunteers stood 50 feet from the rally in an effort to defuse any potential confrontations between equality supporters and NOM supporters. As of 12:35 pm EST we have seen no major confrontations or incidents.

More to come on the NOM rally, including how Brian Brown responded when one reporter asked him about the stock images used on his bus and why those “pesky” Rhode Island activists are still on his mind.

Pictures in from the GSE town hall! More to come…

gse6

gse7

gse2

gse4

UPDATE: State House Steps has video coverage of both events, just posted by “Lesbians Love Boies” in the comments to the NOM event thread postly shortly after this one.

This video includes an interview with Brian Brown. Our team also got an interview with Brown. And, boy, it’s a good one. We’ll post it to the NOM event thread as soon as possible.

Keep refreshing this page as we bring you more, including video interviews. More to come…

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

New NOM tour videos: We report, you decide. Loving families or lunatic fringe? NOM turnout FAIL in New Jersey (again): How will Brian Brown spin this one?

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

    They looked at the evidence of the failure of civil unions in New Jersey months ago, and they voted against marriage anyway.  I remember listening to the hearings and crying at everything.  It was undeniably powerful.  And they still voted against.  How?  Why?  How can it even be?  I just don’t understand how people can be like that.

    Reply
  • 2. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Subbing the scribes.

    Reply
    • 3. JonT  |  July 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      Set 3 degrees down-bubble.

      (SUBscribing)

      Reply
      • 4. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        Congratulations, JonT! You got me laughing on that one!

        Reply
      • 5. JonT  |  July 21, 2010 at 1:30 am

        Thanks Richard!

        I want to subscribe to all of these threads, but get a little bored with just a ‘subscribing’ message, so I’ll try to mix it up a little. Random languages, or something that pop’s into my head.

        Hopefully someone will laugh once and a while :)

        Reply
  • 6. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:52 am

    OT, but important nonetheless. In a 13-6 vote, with Sen. Lindsay Graham of SC voting in favor, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the full senate.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100720/ap_on_go_su_co/us_kagan_supreme_court

    Reply
  • 7. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    “More to come on the NOM rally, including how Brian Brown responded when one reporter asked him about the stock images used on his bus and why those “pesky” Rhode Island activists are still on his mind. ”

    Great teaser…now I will have to come back later to find the answer!!!

    Reply
  • 8. Sagesse  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Subscribing

    Reply
  • 9. Elsie  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Now that’s what I’m talking about! It’s all good. Go GSE!

    Reply
  • 10. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    OT

    Mississippi School Agrees To Revise Policy And Pay Damages To Lesbian Teenager Denied Chance To Attend Prom

    http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/mississippi-school-agrees-revise-policy-and-pay-damages-lesbian-teenager-denied-chance-a

    Reply
  • 11. the lone ranger  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Off topic here, but this article (and accompanying photo) should give everyone a good laugh… Phelps has moved from from hateful and crazy to, well, still hateful and even more crazy:

    http://www.asylum.com/2010/07/16/westboro-baptist-church-picket-comic-con/

    Reply
    • 12. PamC  |  July 20, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Oh, I just love this! Send your protestors to Comic-Con, please–where hundreds of talented artists and creative writers will draw awe-inspiring, laughter-inducing counter-protest signs that will expose your puny ideology for the self-satire it truly is.

      I can’t wait.

      Reply
  • 13. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Another OT

    Online extra: Wedding Bell Blues: New poll shows soft support for same-sex marriage

    “New Field Poll results released today show that by a 51 percent to 42 percent margin, California voters support allowing same-sex couples to marry.”

    http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=4935

    Reply
  • 15. nightshayde  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I love the fact that more equality supporters than nomos showed up — but wouldn’t it have been more effective (at least in terms of media coverage) to have the pro-equality folks right next to the NOM rally?

    I think it’s a pretty powerful image to see more good guys than bad guys at any given gathering.

    Reply
    • 16. fiona64  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am

      I understand your point.

      OTOH, it does take the steam out of their message about the “hateful gays” if there’s no one at whom they may point. They sit around glad-handing their 20 followers, and that’s as far as it goes. It seems as though the media attention was in the room with the good guys.

      My former boss Ken always said that there were some people who weren’t worth the effort it would take to ignore them. I think that GSE may have been aiming for that effect where the gNomobile is concerned.

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
      • 17. nightshayde  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

        Well, OK — if it’s actual MSM coverage & not “just” photographers submitting photos to a blog (not that blogs aren’t credible media — just that blogs tend to be only read by those who already agree with the opinions of the blogger).

        Reply
      • 18. NJSteve  |  July 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

        @nightshade — the mainstream media were there in force — all the local NYC and Philly media were present. GSE knows how to attract the media, and the contrast between the NOM event and the GSE event was something no reporter could miss.

        Reply
  • […] look what Garden State Equality did at the same time today, turning out 158 supporters (Arisha’s hand-co… to a town hall in Trenton […]

    Reply
  • 20. Box Turtle Bulletin » NOM Fails in Trenton  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

    […] protesters did not directly confront NOM’s Big Bus of Animus tour. (Courage Campaign) Under direction from Garden State Equality, marriage supporters walked past the NOM rally into an […]

    Reply
  • 21. nightshayde  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Pretty much OT, but I know people here will understand…

    My pro-equality cubicle-mate was telling someone here at work about how proud she is of her equality-minded son & how she knows he’ll grow up to be a feminist. The guy she was talking to told her that her son can’t be a feminist.

    Why? Because he’s male. Males can’t be feminists.

    Grrr. This guy is soooo sexist, heterosexist (though we KNOW he’s deeply in denial about his own sexuality & that he’s so far in the closet that he’ll likely never see the light of day). I lost all respect for him back in the days before the election & he was spouting all his deep-seated Catholic dogma.

    I can’t stand him & I can’t stand being around him — but I can’t really confront him since we’re in the workplace. I do my best to just avoid him, knowing that if anything even vaguely civil-rights-related comes up I’ll jump down his throat.

    How do those of you who are GLBT deal with people like this on a daily basis without losing your minds? Being around him makes me feel dirty and uncomfortable — because I know how he feels about a number of my friends and some of my family. I can’t imagine how much more uncomfortable he would make me if I was being insulted more directly.

    Reply
    • 22. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      Wait a minute! A man cannot be a feminist? I bet that is news to Alan Alda, who has long been a champion of women’s rights!
      And I guess the only reason he would agree that I can be a feminist is because I am gay, right? I mean, it wouldn’t have a blessed thing to do with having seen how women have been mistreated while I was growing up, and knowing that it wasn’t right. I really have to wonder if the two brain cells he does have are divorced and that is why they aren’t communicating with each other.

      Reply
      • 23. nightshayde  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm

        I think they got an annulment (not sure he actually believes in divorce).

        He completely buys into gender-based stereotypes & doesn’t quite understand why we get fluffy at him for expressing his archaic views. He’s been in a few (straight) relationships, but nobody has agreed to marry him yet. Supposedly one reason is that he won’t agree to have sexual relations before marriage (and has said he won’t marry a woman who’s not a virgin).

        I think he maintains this charade so he won’t have to admit that he’s gay. Maybe once marriage equality has been achieved, he’ll be able to marry the man of his dreams & finally release some of his … erm … pent-up stress.

        Reply
      • 24. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm

        Of course, this is assuming that any man would have him once he found out that this guy was against full civil rights for LGBTQQI’s.

        Reply
    • 25. fiona64  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      Nightshayde wrote: This guy is soooo sexist, heterosexist (though we KNOW he’s deeply in denial about his own sexuality & that he’s so far in the closet that he’ll likely never see the light of day).

      I don’t remember if it was here or elsewhere that someone referred to a guy as “so far in the closet that he can see Narnia.” :-)

      Reply
      • 26. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

        That sounds like Felyx, so it was on P8TT, I just cannot remember which of the threads it is on. I will look later.

        Reply
      • 27. PamC  |  July 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

        Thanks for reminding of that quote, Fiona!! I love re-laughing at such a classic. Got to add that to my (dwindling) repertoire…

        Reply
    • 28. fiona64  |  July 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      A very much heterosexual and masculine ex of mine would be surprised to learn that his genitalia prevent him from being a feminist — a status that he proudly proclaims for himself, and lives daily.

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
  • 29. Ronnie  |  July 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Hey everybody….I was there in Trenton today with my Mother….& Yes NOM FAILED…& WE Overwhelmed them again…but this time is was 100% peaceful there is noting they can say…& whatever they say is a lie…I’m just saying….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
  • […] Tuesday, Garden State Equality responded by organizing an overflowing town hall in Trenton, New Jersey, that attracted 158 people, according to Courage staffer Arisha Michelle […]

    Reply
  • 31. PhillyKarl  |  July 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Hey folks! You know how many people showed up today at NOM’s One Man- One Woman tour?

    One man and one woman.

    :)

    Reply
    • 32. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

      Funny, PhillyKarl! Really funny!

      Reply
  • […] We see this in New Jersey, where among other travesties, members of same-sex couples are denied visitation rights or won’t be given critical medical information about each other in hospitals because hospital staff ignore their civil union certificate. Garden State Equality produced a great video on this (actually, on the occasion of NOM’s visit to the state): […]

    Reply
  • […] Tuesday, Garden State Equality responded by organizing an overflowing town hall in Trenton, New Jersey, that attracted 158 people, according to Courage staffer Arisha Michelle […]

    Reply

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