BREAKING (NEW VIDEO): NOM Tour Tracker forced to move, threatened with arrest in Maryland

July 22, 2010 at 9:33 am 223 comments

“Don’t make me lock you up!” — Annapolis, Maryland police officer to videographer

By Eden James

On Wednesday, Jethro Rothe-Kushel, a Courage Campaign Institute videographer, was removed from a National Organization for Marriage rally — at the behest of NOM’s Brian Brown — and threatened with arrest by a Maryland police officer if he continued to film the event.

The reason is clear: Brown, President of NOM, was embarrassed by yet another rally event in which attendance was extremely low. On this site, we’ve started calling it the #NOMturnoutFAIL, in new media parlance.

We now have video footage to share of the entire incident, including the moments that led up to it and what happened afterwards when Courage’s Arisha Michelle Hatch attempted asked for an explanation from the police officer.

The video speaks for itself, from the moment Brian Brown convenes the extremely small crowd (despite his prediction of “50 (or) 100” people) to the moment Jethro is threatened with arrest. Watch it for yourself right now:

Let’s be clear. As Popular Mechanics explained on Tuesday, taking video in a public place is not a crime. Period.

Legally, it’s pretty much always okay to take photos in a public place as long as you’re not physically interfering with traffic or police operations. As Bert Krages, an attorney who specializes in photography-related legal problems and wrote Legal Handbook for Photographers, says, “The general rule is that if something is in a public place, you’re entitled to photograph it.”

As the article lays out, citizens have a right to document public events and the actions of public officials (like police) as a check against abuses. It then prescribes the method of responding to an an officer:

So what should you do if you’re taking photos and a security guard or police officer approaches you and tells you to stop?… Ask them what legal authority they have to make you stop. (If you’re in a public place, like a street, a park, etc., they have none; if you’re in a private place, such as a shopping mall, they may have a basis for banning pictures.)

That’s what our videographer did. And that’s why Arisha approached the officer for an explanation. The officer’s response?

“(The videographer) is not a part of this and (Brian Brown) asked to have him move.”

What Brian Brown did — asking the Maryland police to remove our team from the event — was a violation of our First Amendment right to document the rally in a public space on public property. We hope he doesn’t make the same mistake again. What the officer did — threatening to arrest our videographer — was done because Brian Brown is realizing that transparency is problematic for the future of his anti-gay rights organization. And he’ll do anything to stop us from exposing that reality.

Incidents like this demonstrate why NOM’s “Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman” national tour is becoming an unmitigated public relations disaster.

Brian Brown and NOM now have a choice: allow their events to be documented by any and all sources, including, or cancel the tour before it implodes and threatens the very survival of the organization.

Of course, if NOM wants to continue broadcasting failure to the American people, we’ll keep documenting every minute of it for all to see.

As Rick Jacobs, Courage’s Chair and Founder, wrote last night in a piece titled “The NOM tour: A celebration of censorship or freedom?“:

Because Mr. Brown is reading this, let me be clear. We, in the equality movement, fully support NOM’s right to protest. We welcome their participation in the dialogue, and here on the Tracker. We respect their right to marry, divorce, bear children out of wedlock, worship as they choose, serve in the military and send their own camera teams to cover our rallies. We also support the Constitution—especially the 1st, 5th, 10th, and 14th Amendments—at issue on this tour, with DOMA, and the institutionalized limits on the rights of millions of Americans in more than 30 states.

Increasing transparency and holding NOM accountable is why we launched, just like we launched and “Testimony: Equality on Trial” to bring the Prop 8 federal trial into the lives of Americans (who were denied the opportunity to watch it on television, after Brian Brown’s friends at appealed to the Supreme Court).

No matter what Brian Brown does, we’re not going away. We’re going to keep tracking this tour across the country, all the way up to culminating event in Washington, D.C. on August 15.

If you appreciate the work that we are doing, please tell your friends about and consider making a contribution to help us cover the costs of our Tour Tracker labor and expenses. As you know, we really can’t do this without your support.

In the extended entry, you can read first-hand accounts of what happened in Annapolis, as written from both the perspective of Jethro, our videographer, as well as Arisha, Courage’s Field Director and our NOM Tour Tracker lead.

Jethro Rothe-Kushel:

We arrived at Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis, MD at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, video camera in hand, to document Brian Brown’s National Organization of Marriage rally scheduled to start at high noon. But by 12:10, it became clear that the attendance at his “Public” event was limited to a couple dozen people, many of whom were staffers or volunteers.

I could tell that Brown was nervous about what was about to happen and prepared to do anything to stop it from being documented. He said he was expecting 50-100 participants and seemed embarrassed about the low turnout.

After some secretive communications on his mobile device, and a conversation between Mr. Brown and a police officer, he finally began his rally at about 25 minutes after the hour. Like clockwork, just thirty seconds after the rally finally began, I was approached by the same officer, as you can see in the video.

I then tried to shoot from about 100 yards away at the foot of the square over the heads of a handful of his staffers who he instructed to stay close to the stage. Brown started talking about the aftermath of Prop 8 in California, but just I was about to capture some solid footage of the event, the officer again approached me and quarantined me to a corner across the street. This time he was stronger and came with a threat:

“Don’t make me lock you up!”

Ironically, Brian Brown’s anti-civil rights rally was held at the foot of a Thurgood Marshall statue with an inscription above publicly proclaiming “Equal Justice Under the Law.” But what about marriage equality on this summer afternoon at Lawyer’s Mall? As a straight Mexican and Jewish male and California resident, I felt outraged by the passage of Prop 8 and the subsequent marginalization of media in every attempt to document the aftermath, including the trial. However, with great injustice comes great opportunity. Change is slow, but true justice is inevitable.

Arisha Michelle Hatch:

Walking up to the NOM rally in Annapolis, Maryland, I convinced myself that it was going to be an uneventful day. Because of low turnout, Brian Brown decided to start the rally approximately 20 minutes after 12:00 pm (EST). I sat down under a tree and began writing what I thought would be a pretty boring post; the headline would have read: “NOM hosts rally in front of Thurgood Marshall statute, 20 people show up to see it.”

A short note about our process the last few days:

Jethro Rothe-Kushel has been our main videographer, Anthony Ash has been our photographer and I have been writing copy, keeping head counts and identifying people on both sides to interview after the rally. One interesting fact is, that although I’ve been on the tour for three stops now and haven’t had the opportunity to ask Brown a single questions. In fact, each time that I’ve walked up behind Jethro while he’s interviewing Brown to ask a question, Brown finds a way to conveniently end the interview.

The first time this happened I thought it was a coincidence, by the third time, I began to recognize a trend.

Brian Brown does not want to talk to me for some reason. I’m not sure why. I am, after all, African-American and according to Brown most of us “are on [his] side.” But I digress. . .

Back to the Annapolis rally:

Just as I was about to post my first short installment, my field organizer Anthony approached me and said, “Where is Jethro” (our videographer)? We searched for him, but couldn’t find him. Just as I began to panic, my phone rang. It was Jethro telling me that he had just been threatened with arrest by a police officer.

I walked over to the officer that Jethro identified with our flip camera to inquire about why he had been removed. I was only able to record a short portion of our conversation. The officer explained to me that NOM had a permit for the space and that all counter-protesters had to go across the street. I explained to the officer that we were merely documenting the rally. I asked the officer if he was protecting my rights. He said that he was. After about 10 minutes of back and forth that went nowhere, I decided to disengage.

Today, we’re on the road to Ohio, for our longest drive to date. I hope to spend the time reflecting on the last few rallies and introducing you to a few of the NOM friends I’ve made along the way.
FYI, if you enjoyed the video of Paster Jay, the Pentacostal, tongue-speaking preacher from Rhode Island, then you’ll definitely want to check out our footage of Minister LeRoy from Annapolis. More to come…

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

The NOM tour: A celebration of censorship or freedom? Sen. Roy Ashburn’s Post-Outing Conversion Is Too Little, Too Late

223 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Scrubbing and subbing

    • 2. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:47 am


    • 3. JonT  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

      Da bears.

      • 4. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

        Love Da Bears! scribing for that long list of emails.

  • 5. Ronnie  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Oh Brainless Brown Suit….poor Brian…poor poor Brian Brown…ROTFLMGAYAO…..<3…Ronnie

  • 6. Dpeck  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I consider this to be pretty darned important and it would be great if we could keep gettting info on how this situation is developing.

    For example – the article does not mention if Courage Campaign or the videographer have contacted the ACLU or other organizations to begin legal procedings against NOM and the police department that was involved. Have they? What is the plan?

    Letting them get away with this and just giving them a warning about not doing it again next time is not nearly good enough. Any success they have with stunts like this directly affect Courage Campaign’s ability to document NOM’s words and actions and to get the info to us and to the media. It is important that we follow up and use every resource to prevent this type of illegal activity.

    • 7. Evan  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

      I totally agree. The issue here is that the officer did not have the authority to ask the videographer to vacate the area. The problem is with this officer and his supervisor. Someone needs to be following up with the Annapolis Police, Maryland State Patrol, whoever to inquire how this happened and what follow up there will be with the officer infringing upon the videographer’s First Amendment rights.

      • 8. Mackenzie  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

        I completely agree, someone needs their ass chewed for this in their department, that police officer was hopefully not dumb enough to not realize that the vidoegrapher was legally in the right.

      • 9. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

        Sorry to be the dissenting opinion but actually the police officer did have a legitimate reason to have the videographer relocated. The reason actually has nothing to do with the right to film in public. The reason has to do with the fact that the individual was following Brian around. Not only was he following, which in itself is enough for the authorities to be allowed to preempt potential harassment but he was less than an arms length away. Brian actual turned around in the video and said that the individual was too close and that he was not going to let me video what he was doing.

        I do not endorse the message obviously, but if we want to be able to video the events we need to tell the people on the ground to maintain a respectful distance. Perhaps having two individuals, one to try to interview, and one to maintain a respectful distance at all times would be more effective. Trying to sue is just a waste of money and time. Follow the rules and allow Brian to show is ass on the stage. No need to go any further.

        Felyx – I may be crazy but at least I am level headed enough to know how to get what needs to be got!

    • 10. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

      I don’t know whether this was addressed and I missed it: did anyone get the officer’s badge number and/or name? Even if not, someone needs to complain to the Annapolis PD; they know who was assigned to cover that rally.


      • 11. Marius  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

        watched throug the video, havent been able too make out the bage number yet, but his nametag says D. F. PARKER.


    • 12. Chris  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

      You need to file a suit. Even if it might not go anywhere, knowing that you are fully willing to file a civil rights lawsuit could prevent future police departments from pulling the same crap. Most police officers are as anemic to transparency as NOM is, so expect this to keep happening.

  • 13. Sagesse  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    This video is powerful. Hoping it gets back to the Annapolis police department and city government who know full well what their officer did was wrong. Have you thought of combining it with the clips of Brian saying how open and welcoming they are?

    Was there any press there at all? I haven’t seen any coverage (haven’t had much of a chance to look). Just want to see Brian in the shadow of the Thurgood Marshall statue. All together now, repeat after me “Equal justice for all.” Has a nice ring to it.

    • 14. Sagesse  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Following up on my question about other press. If there were others taking video, wouldn’t he have had to ask them to move too?

      • 15. B&E  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:31 am

        If you look closely at the beginning footage, you can see a young boy photographing or filming the event with a digital camera. Was he told he had to move or be arrested?

      • 16. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

        I think I heard Brian Brown say something about his children crying in the ‘breaking news’ video. It could be his son taking the film… ??

  • 17. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

    This really can’t be let go as just a warning to NOM. They need to be shown that we are not going to allow any more of our rights to be taken away and or stepped on like this.
    PLEASE CC don’t let this opportunity to stand up to NOM and “Brainless Brown Suit Brian” (love that Ronnie) get away from us.
    PLEASE contact the ACLU…Lambda Legal….GLAAD

  • 18. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Counting the days – 4 – to see if the gNOMes actually have enought steam to make it to Indiianapolis.

    • 19. Billy  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      Bring it, gNOMes!

  • 20. Bob  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:12 am

    guess we can learn from that experience, and also agree it’s great footage to have on video,,,,,

    but not somethng worth any kind of legal action, the police man was wrong in listening to Brian, and giving false orders

    they do that all the time, and in this case it worked in Brian’s favour, the videographer moved. it would be a different kettle of fish if they had stood their ground, then the officer would have to either act or not, and that would have been grounds for some legal action.

    we know for next time

    • 21. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

      Are you a lawyer Bob? Is this your opinion or an educated statement?

      • 22. Bob  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:42 am

        Hi Mark, it’s simply my opinion,

  • 23. Ann S.  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:14 am


    Hi, Brian and Louis!!!

  • 24. Bolt  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Brian one suit’s smile is so fake. Kudos to the camera operator.

  • 25. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I forwarded the video on to a couple attorney friends of mine to take a peek at….as well as to Lambda Legal and the ACLU

  • 26. JayeinMD  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:25 am

    It appears to be a Maryland State officer to me but I could be wrong. Regardless, I just made a donation to the Courage Fund so we can keep NOM’s feet to the fire so to speak.

  • 27. Dylon  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I still hate the thought that their coming to my state next. Sad to say I wont be able to be there since I have my vacation on the same date they come. What a bummer. Oh well I hope their attendance is low in Ohio as it was in the other states. If not, I’m going to be sadden by my state.

    • 28. Marlene  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

      Dylon — The NOMosexuals would’ve had a better turnout if they came to Findlay, rather than Lima, mainly due to the fact that Finlay’s *way* more conservative than Limaland. I mean Lima allows *Blacks* to live there!

      Lima: 24.5% (History of segregation, though!)
      Findlay 1.4%

      • 29. Mykelb  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

        Plus isn’t the show “GLEE” supposed to be in Lima, Ohio? One of the most diverse character ensembles in history of TV. Where is LEA when you need her?

  • 30. Mackenzie  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I also suggest that we post this video to our facebook walls, embed it in other posts, and link it to twitters. Make sure everyone knows what happened and how small the turnout was!

  • 31. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Hi, Brian and Louis!

    • 32. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      I just wanted to say Hi! too, as I catch up on the day’s posts.

  • 33. Deacon Maccubbin  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    The officer involved was Lt. Derwyn Parker, Assistant Detachment Commander of the Maryland Capitol Police, Annapolis Detachment. His superior is Chief Phil Palmere . Drop a polite, respectful email to the Chief and ask him what he plans to do to properly instruct his officers in the protection of free speech and assembly rights for all.

    • 34. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Contact info is here:

      Text of my e-mail:

      Letter of Complaint/Concern re: Lt. Derwin Parker, Asst. Detachment Cdr, Maryland Capital Police, Annapolis Det.

      Dear Chief Palmere:

      I am writing to express my concern about actions taken by the above-named Lt. Parker during a public rally in Annapolis on Wednesday, July 21. During that rally, in violation of the US Constitution, Lt. Parker demanded that a videographer cease filming said rally. Lt. Parker’s exact words to the videographer, Jethro Rothe-Kussel, were “Don’t make me lock you up.”

      Mr. Rothe-Kussel was not in violation of any laws. The rally was open to the public, the park is a public space, and he was not behaving in a disruptive or inappropriate fashion. Lt. Parker was directed by Brian Brown, of the National Organization for Marriage (sponsors of the rally) to remove Mr. Rothe-Kussel. Instead of informing Mr. Brown that Mr. Rothe-Kussel was not in violation of any laws (which he was not), Lt. Parker followed Mr. Browns directions and threatened Mr. Rothe-Kussel with arrest.

      I am hopeful that you will arrange for Lt. Parker to have some training on the right of peaceable assembly, which includes photographing public events in public spaces.

      Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.


      • 35. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

        Great email/letter Fiona.
        Here is what I sent a short time ago. Not as lengthy or as detailed as yours but hopefully sends the same message of concern.

        Chief Palmere:
        Please review this video at:

        What your officer clearly does here is disallow the 1st ammendment rights of Jethro Rothe-Kushel, a Courage Campaign Institute videographer.
        We would ask this officer to be instructed on the law and further ask that a public appology be issued post haste.

        Mark M.
        Concerned citizen and champion of Equality

      • 36. VRAlbany  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

        Great letters, both of you! I’m copy/pasting/forwarding as well.

      • 37. Michelle Evans  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

        Here’s what I just sent:

        Dear Chief Palmere,

        It has come to my attention that one of the officers serving under your command violated the law yesterday during a public rally. Contrary to the United States Constitutional 1st Amendment rights of news media to record events in a free and open public space, Lt. Derwin Parker threatened with arrest videographer, Jethro Rothe-Kussel. Mr. Rothe-Kussel was simply recording the events transpiring at the National Organization for Marriage rally, and was in no way disruptive of those events. It was his right, as is the right of every single American, to do exactly what he did, and yet, at the direction of the organizer of the rally, Brian Brown, your officer decided that the 1st Amendment did not apply to Mr. Rothe-Kussel.

        Mr. Brown has no right to ask anyone to be removed from a public place who was not causing a disturbance. He may be uncomfortable with someone recording his event, but that alone does not cause a disturbance since Mr. Brown chose a public location for his event. Lt. Parker’s proper and lawful response to Mr. Brown would have been to inform him that the law applies to all Americans, and that, as a police officer, he could not violate someone’s constitutional rights by having them threatened with arrest and forced to move away from the rally.

        What is clear is that Lt. Parker violated the law. He should be immediately reprimanded for his actions, and you should immediately issue a public apology for that violation. This action would show that you and your department hold all American rights in high regard, and that you will not stand for what happened on July 21.

        Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

      • 38. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

        I just got this response to my e-mail. I’ll keep you posted:

        Dear Ms. C:
        Thank you for contacting us. We are currently investigating this issue and we will most certainly let you know our findings as soon as possible.
        Christopher Falkenhagen

        Christopher Falkenhagen
        Special Assistant to the Secretary

      • 39. PamC  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

        Nice work, fiona.

      • 40. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

        I got the same thing, too.

    • 41. Rich  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

      Chief Palmere’s email address is:

      His office phone number is (410) 767-6744

  • 42. Dave in Maine  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:50 am


  • 43. Vito J. Oliver  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Are there complaints being filed against this officer?

  • 44. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Is it just me, or did the police officer sound not only rude, but rather threatening?

    • 45. Mykelb  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      Police Offcers are generally rude and threatening. We live in a police state.

      • 46. Chris  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

        No we don’t.

        The officer acted like a jerk, and he might have done something illegal, but the very fact that there is any discussion of the ACLU and Constitutional rights means that we do not live in a police state.

  • 47. Deacon Maccubbin  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Chief Phil Palmere’s email is phil.palmere (at) (The forum software won’t let me enter it as an actual email address.)

    • 48. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:32 am


      • 49. rick jacobs  |  July 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

        You all are great to do this. The officer surely overreacted and violated Jethro’s rights. The more we pay attention here, the less likely this is to happen in Ohio and beyond.

        Does anyone notice that NOM is like that tree in the forest that falls, but no one is around to hear it, so no one cares?

        Fall it will, thanks to you all.

        Rick Jacobs.

  • 50. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:11 am


    Montana Same-Sex Couples Sue State for Legal Protections for Their Families
    Seven Couples Seek Equal Protection Mandated Under Montana’s Constitution

    Seven committed same-sex couples today filed a lawsuit against the state of Montana for failing to provide legal protections to same-sex couples and their families in violation of the Montana Constitution’s rights of privacy, dignity and the pursuit of life’s basic necessities and its guarantees of equal protection and due process. The goal of this lawsuit is ensure that same-sex couples are able to protect their families with the same kind of legal protections that opposite-sex couples are offered through marriage.

    Read More:

  • 51. bonobo  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

    What cracks me up is the cop is a Lieutenant. Which means, of course, that he should have known better. I suspect he’s probably a reserve, as that’s who we always used for crowd control and Stanford Football games. Even then, it’s a question on the PD test, if memory serves me correctly.
    I suspect also, that the cop may be a NOM supporter in his personal life. But that’s just speculation on my part.
    As for Mr. Brown, it’s obvious that he’s living off his charm and probably figures if he got away with it yesterday it will work for him again today. Let’s hope he’s not reading P8TT today and that this time our people have a lawyer walking along beside them.


    • 52. Michelle Evans  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

      You are absolutely correct that this officer should know better, which gives a lot of force to the second part of your opinion that he may, in fact, be a NOM supporter of some sort. In some ways that is even worse to contemplate in that a police officer, sworn to uphold local and federal laws, would knowingly do something like what he did.

      His boss should be issuing a public apology for what transpired, and Lt. Parker, at the very least, should be officially reprimanded. He is a police officer and he broke the law. That is one of the worst things to ever happen.

      • 53. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

        Be careful you guys are not getting ahead of yourselves with this talk! In the video the Cop addressed the complaint of harassment, not of videotaping. The videotape clearly demonstrates the filmer was following Brian around and was too close for Brian’s comfort zone (which would be about one arms length away, or within striking distance).

        Our videographer was too close to Brian. The cop had reasonable suspicion. If our team stands three meters, about 10 feet away there will most likely be no cause for police attention.

        Be reasonable so that we can get the footage. The footage is what we need, not ridiculous answers to pointless questions from a fringe group leader.


      • 54. Southern Bell  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

        I agree with Felix. What first stood out in that video to me was that Brian was being followed and the video did get right up on him. I think the poor cop was flustered and really trying to do his job correctly, even if we don’t agree about all of the circumstances. I do think he should have first warned the videographer not to get so close instead of immediately making him move so far. Let’s just learn this lesson and stay a good 10 feet away from the NOM group and give them no reason to make us move.

      • 55. Sheryl Carver  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        I agree, Felyx, it did sound like the complaint was about interfering with Brian, not videotaping per se.

        If there is video proof that Jethro was never closer than is legally allowed in Maryland, THEN there’s a case. To be fair, from the policeman’s standpoint, all he has is Brian’s assertion that he was being interfered with & was probably trying to keep things from getting out of hand.

        Jethro could have accepted being arrested, which would probably have led to a chance to present evidence, etc, but under the circumstances I think his decision not to push it to that level was wise. Continuing to cover the NOAM (National Organization AGAINST Marriage) tour is more important right now. As is Jethro’s ability to earn a living by not being in jail, nor forced to return to MD for a trial, etc.

        That said, it seems like the cop had another option, which was to warn Jethro about distance & possible interference, then staying to observe whether or not he complied. To me, that would have been the best decision, unless the officer had to leave for other reasons.

      • 56. Dave P.  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        Please watch the video again. While it is true that the videographer was close to Brian and attempting to interview him BEFORE the rally (which is also NOT harassment, it is normal news-gathering procedure in this country), once the rally started the videographer was standing well away from Brown, BEHIND many of the public who were attending the rally. And it was at THIS point that the officer confronted him.

        And then where the officer was truly in the wrong – he took orders from Brown and told the vodeographer that he must leave the site completely and stop recording. The videographer even asks the officer directly if the fact that he is videotaping is the problem and the officer says “yes”. Meaning the problem was not that he was harassing Brown by standing too close to him.

        Then, notice that after the office first spoke with him the videographer then attempted to record the event from very far away, where he was clearly not affecting anyone at the event in any way and was clearly ONLY videotaping, and yet the officer confronted himn AGAIN and forced him to move out of camera range or face arrest, accomplishing Brown’s request for having him removed so he could not record the event.

        I agree that it would be best practice to avoid any behavior that could be used as an excuse for NOM to claim harassment by our videographers, but there was clearly nothing illegal about what the videographer was doing and the officer clearly had no authority to demand that he leave the public event and prevent the videographer from recording it.

      • 57. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

        @DaveP – that was precisely my reading of what went on, too. You saved me having to compose a post.:)

      • 58. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

        You are splitting hairs Dave. A complaint was made and the officer had just cause to do his job. I don’t think that this could be successfully pressed in a court of law.

        Let’s just keep our eyes on the prize.


      • 59. PamC  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

        It’s not harassment until the second offense. The first offense occurred, Mr. BB said back off, the videographer backed off. No crime occurred after that point.

        Harassment is a series of unwelcome behaviors occurring after someone has told you to stop. Not in legalese, but if I’m incorrect, would someone please tell me? Kathleen? ;)

      • 60. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

        PamC, you are correct. I used to be a sexual harassment investigator for the DoD, and that was exactly what we were taught. Once you say “No,” it is harassment if the behavior continues.


      • 61. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

        Please don’t push your luck people…getting arrested sucks. It sucks big green donkey balls. As much as you want to argue who is in the right, giving Brown the opportunity to scream, ‘Look at these people who are so out of line they are getting arrested!’ does not make anything better.

        I have had to bail people out of jail for less than this. It is a big fiasco. And just so we are clear about the law, the cops only have to have to present a reasonable suspicion to make an arrest of this nature. Even if you are proven innocent far beyond a reasonable doubt the cop still doesn’t get fired. I repeat, the cop only gets told whether he was within his authority to do what he did, he will NOT get fired.

        So split hairs and fuss all you want but for the love of Reason and Propriety just stay back…besides, Brian probably hasn’t washed that Brown jacket in days….with the heat so bad why would you want to get any closer?

        Felyx – The only one crazy enough to promote rationality!

      • 62. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

        One other thing, just so ya’ll know, the cop in certain instances could ask if Brian or any NOM person complaining of harassment wants to press charges. If that were to happen the arrested person would have to show up one month later to that state in that jurisdiction. Brian (et als) however, would not have to. He could simply drop the charges later. Then he could promote himself as a benevolent person who doesn’t want to persecute others…

        Good God people! Please let’s just not go there!


      • 63. John  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

        Oh come on, people. Get a grip. I agree with Felyx. Filming from just outside the NOM circle wouldn’t be a problem. Keep a polite and minimum distance. You wouldn’t want a NOM-videographer walking around through the crowd or up to a speaker when he is on the way to the podium. Or even pointing the camera from behind when he is busy messaging on his (i)-phone or whatever it was.

        Pick your battles when their worth it. This is not one. Stop hyperventilating

      • 64. PamC  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

        Felyx, I know you are coming from a place of love and concern. I don’t want anyone to get arrested unless they are ready for it (and I’m speaking about protesters who have been trained in nonviolent protests and have bail money and a lawyer all lined up–in other words, people who are knowledgeable and willing to make this decision) either.

        But I wanted to make the point re: harassment not to just “be right” –I’m really not into pissing contests– but to make clear that if Courage Campaign wants to make a complaint afterward, they do have legal standing in this matter. BB complained, but he had no grounds because the videographer did not continue in the behavior.

        Really, just to make it clear, I am not trying to encourage anyone to test the extent of their civil rights or egg anyone on to risk arrest. You’re absolutely right, jail is a bitch, especially in the south (my family are all from Tennessee).

      • 65. PamC  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm


        I think we all might be talking about 2 different things–the difference between choosing your battles wisely (getting arrested would not have been a good thing for the videographer) and knowing about protections under the law. That knowledge is more important after the fact and/or in a courtroom.

        I don’t think anyone was condoning “tempting fate” by pushing an officer beyond his/her limit of patience.

      • 66. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm


        I totally agree with you about making a complaint after the fact. I totally support making a fuss when there is no threat of arrest. (And BTW the comment by the cop about ‘Don’t make me lock you up!’ could be considered an inappropriate threat. Cops need to state the law or else apply it, but making implications about what he could and could not do is pushing the limit of police propriety. So I don’t necessarily agree with the cop. Still, he would not have been fired even if he were in the wrong.)

        Thank you PamC for clarifying and putting our respective comments into perspective. I wish I had done that in the beginning so thank you.


      • 67. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

        In fairness, John, when Lt. Parker came over to eject the videographer, he *was* filming from beyond NOM’s circle.

        Lt. Parker then confirmed that the reason for the videographer being ejected from the public place was that he was videotaping. *That* was when the matter became problematic from a Constitutional perspective.

        You’re absolutely correct that BB (Hi, Brian and Louis) has a right to make his speech free of harassment. However, he was not being harassed. He was being filmed, making public statements in a public park, at a rally to which he invited the public.

        That is the matter to which I raised my objections. No more, no less.


    • 68. Sagesse  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      @ Felyx. Then shouldn’t the appropriate response be to ask him to keep his distance, rather than eject him from the venue and threaten to arrest him. It’s not like there was an unruly protest going on.

      • 69. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm


        Appropriate? Yes… absolutely. But as heinous as it sounds, I wouldn’t even bother to ask a cop to be appropriate. I would rather not ‘tempt’ fate. He won’t get fired and I will get an arrest record with a possible conviction… not worth it. I totally agree with you on what should be… of course if this was a perfect world we would not be fighting for equality to begin with! :P


  • 70. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Just received this message from the FB group “Let’s support UNITING AMERICAN FAMILIES ACT” and thought I’d pass it along:

    Hear from Congressman Mike Honda, Bishop Minerva Carcano, and families directly impacted by our broken immigration system. Learn what YOU can do to make a difference!

    Call-in Number: 1-866-740-1260*, passcode 6946500#
    Register online at;

    The call will take place Wed, July 28, starting at 8 PM EST/ 5 PM PST. It will last 1 hour. Any and all supporters of family and inclusive immigration rights are welcome to join.

    • 71. Shun  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      Kathleen, once again thank you so much for helping to spread the word. :)

    • 72. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      Glad to be of service, Shun.

      BTW, do you think they mean 8 EDT/ 5 PDT? ie., Daylight time, not standard time. I’m guessing they must.

  • 73. VRAlbany  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Go Arisha! That was fantastic to confront the officer like that! Though he was failing miserably at his job at that moment, you handled it very well and I’m very glad you documented it!

    • 74. rick jacobs  |  July 23, 2010 at 1:07 am

      We love Arisha!


    • 75. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:16 am

      I agree! Who knows what might happen when one actually goes up to a police officer to confront him and question his actions (and film the process, no less!). That takes courage!


      (What do we call it these days….? We don’t film anything anymore, nor do we videotape events with most modern cameras.)

  • 76. GAYGUY  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Again…the law is on the religious’ side. Last month there was the issue of the Gay Pride Rally where that guy was legally allowed to hand out bibles in an area that was paid for by us gays to hold a function, but the law said it was a public place and the man was able to be here and do his thing! Why were WE not allowed to be at NOM’s function and do OUR thing!

    • 77. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      The law isn’t on the religions’ side. It’s on the side of the First Amendment, which guarantees, among other things, free speech and religious freedom. The person handing out the bibles at the Gay Pride Rally was protected under the law for the same reason our videographer is.

      • 78. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

        Besides, hardly anyone paid any attention to the bible guy, so it all ended up working out just fine.

  • 79. Sean  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I still can’t believe this happened…in my state, no less. What is Brown’s problem with just letting people be people? It’s even more insulting to hear he’s trying to pass this off as some sort of “civil rights” protest. MLK must be spinning in his grave…

    • 80. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      This is one of those I times I would love to see the resurrection of the dead. Especially since I don’t think MLK is alone in spinning in the grave. I would be willing to bet that Coretta is just absolutely LIVID!

  • 81. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Has anyone read up on the laws in Maryland and videotaping?

    It’s not ‘pretty’.

    If I understand, you CAN video tape with audio the speakers because “Statements that a person knowingly exposes to the public are not made with a reasonable expectation of privacy and therefore are not protected as ‘oral communicatiions’ under the state and federal wiretap laws.”

    However, you cannot videotape the police officer portion because of ‘wiretapping’ laws. ??

    Perhaps our legal types can read these and formulate a better opinion…

    About video taping police officers being a felony in Maryland:

    About video taping public speakers:

  • 82. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    NOMs video of Annapolis Event

    • 83. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      You see the same people about 5 times each.

      • 84. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        Yes, and someone pointed out yesterday that was at the event, about 12 people who were there were on our side!

      • 85. l8r_g8r  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

        OMG! Did you see the big vicious scary dog they had? I’m feeling rather intimidated.

    • 86. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Also, the comment about a biological mom wanting to “share” a child with another woman doesn’t make sense. She is asking that question to straight women. Why don’t you ask that question to lesbian couples? You will get a resounding yes then!

      • 87. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

        Hmmm… what if a straight woman was married to an infertile man & had to rely on a sperm donor to conceive. Would that woman be willing to share her biological child with the man she loves and is married to? I’m guessing the answer would be yes.

  • 88. Dave in Maine  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    BB is getting more desperate. He cites an old article about open relationships in the gay community. He states that Canada is considering making polygamy legal. Fear Fear Fear. Blah blah blah. (How many straight couples have open relationships? He should also cite the actual NYTimes article-it’s very interesting). This is more evidence that their single notion of how marriage should be, even between a man and a woman, should be that way for the entire country (or maybe just the dozen or so states they’re visiting….)



    Dear Friend of Marriage,

    What a week!

    Augusta, Manchester, Albany, Providence, Trenton, Annapolis–and that’s just the beginning.

    No one has ever done this before, and after the tantrums from those who oppose us at some of our events maybe I understand why. But let me tell you something: I was never more proud to stand with all of you who support marriage than I have been on this bus tour, especially when our opponents’ tempers flared, when they stormed the podium, when they tried to drown out our message, interrupt our rally, and even threaten children.

    “We’re not going to back off. We’re going to stand up for our families,” a young mother told us.

    Yes we are! Listening to that young mother, her baby in arms, find her voice to speak the truth lovingly, but fearlessly–well, that was really inspiring to me. I was concerned that people would be afraid, but let me tell you they were steeled. They faced down hatred with love–and won! Our opponents do not merely disagree with our views, they hate us; and the people I saw at that rally wanted to shut us down, if possible.

    But we are not going to back off and we are not going to back down. We are going to fight for marriage and we are going to win.

    Gay-marriage advocates are becoming bolder in other ways too, bolder in declaring what gay marriage means to at least some of them. The San Francisco Chronicle published the results of two new studies on gay couples, many of them married, in the Bay area. “Marriage” is not the only word that needs to be radically redefined; in the view of many mainstream gay folks, “fidelity” is also on the target list.

    In the majority of committed gay male relationships, a new study of 566 gay male couples in the Bay Area by Colleen Huff found, one or both partners say that sexual exclusivity is not part of the deal. (Of the minority that report a theoretical commitment to fidelity, only a tiny fraction are actually faithful.)
    “I think it’s quite natural for men to want to continue to have an active and varied sex life,” said 50-year-old technology consultant Dean Allemang from Oakland, who just ended a 13-year-open relationship, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t own my lover, and I don’t own his body,” he said. “I think it’s weird to ask someone you love to give up that part of their life. I would never do it.”

    Sexual fidelity is “weird” and unnatural. What does that tell you about the Big Lie that gay unions are just like marriages and should be treated like marriages?

    Another study of 86 gay male couples reported by the San Francisco Chronicle suggested that gay men have very positive views of sexually “open” relationships. (I put that “open” in quotation marks because one thing gay relationships cannot be is “open” to creating new life.)

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Because frankly, a union of two men is obviously not like a union of husband and wife; it’s not a marriage, so why should the rules of marriage be relevant to these relationships?

    “Three out of 4 people described non-monogamy as a positive thing, and said it gave them a sexual outlet without having to lie. Participants reported it helped relationships survive by providing honest options and minimizing deceit, tension and resentment. Some ‘played’ independently, others as a threesome, and about 80 percent agreed to tell all or some details of their encounters, the rest preferring a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” the Chronicle reported.

    Mind you, these are committed male relationships we are talking about. At least half those interviewed were married under California law. I know not every same-sex relationship is like this. But it is also becoming clear that a big chunk of a new generation of gay men are not content to live the lie being perpetrated by gay-marriage advocates’ opportunistic propaganda. Their unions aren’t very much like traditional marriages.

    I can’t pretend and probably don’t want to understand all the details, but I know the things that bind me and my wife, and other married couples together are not what are holding gay men in their relationships.

    “It’s a redefinition of marriage,” one of the study authors said. Well, yes it is.

    It’s not a surprising finding. What’s surprising is that they are admitting these truths on the front pages of major newspapers.

    Gay marriage is not the end; it’s the beginning of the radical redefinition of sex, love, family, and fidelity in America.

    In Canada, right now courts are considering legalizing polygamy. They may not get there yet, but that’s the direction they are heading.

    One woman in the mainstream media who “gets it” is Katherine Kersten, who writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In her column this week, Kersten says: “If gay marriage becomes government policy, people who believe that kids need both a mother and a father will be treated with the contempt formerly reserved for racial bigots.

    “If you think I’m exaggerating, listen to Mark Dayton, who may be Minnesota’s next governor. In 2004, he told a crowd of gay-rights activists that people who support a constitutional amendment to protect male-female marriage are ‘the forces of bigotry and hatred’ who ‘spew hatred and inhumanity,’ according to the Star Tribune.”

    “They want to intimidate me,” the young mother as our rally said, “but we are not going to back off. We are going to stand up. For our families.”

    Yes we are.

    Until next week, God bless and keep you and your family.


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

    P.S. If we depended on the mainstream media to get the story out, that young mother would never be interviewed. I’m so grateful to God we added, at the very last minute, a full-time videographer to the tour, to give marriage supporters our own voice and our own avenues for getting the message out. But running our own marriage news service isn’t cheap. The videographer is just the beginning; on the other end we have a great team to mix and report, and get the news footage out there. We are looking for 35 people willing to donate $17 a month to help pay for the videography, the cost of keeping the marriage message moving. Look at the face of that young mother, and help us get her message out today!

    NOM Featured Article
    “Homosexual Activists Disrupt Pro-Marriage Rallies, Intimidate Nursing Mother”
    Catholic News Agency
    July 21, 2010
    Providence, R.I., Jul 21, 2010 / 06:08 am (CNA).- Homosexual activists’ behavior at rallies by a touring pro-marriage event has ranged from “silly” to “crazy” and “disgraceful,” one event leader reports. Some activists disrupted a Rhode Island rally and mocked religion and children, while others intimidated a nursing mother at a New York rally.

    • 89. Dave in Maine  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Man, that B.S. Brown sure knows how to twist this crap. He admits that not every gay couple is into open relationships, then he goes on to say that what holds him and his wife together, as well as other married couples, is not what is holding gay men in their relationships.

      Does he know every gay couple?

      For that matter, does he know every straight couple?



    • 90. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      Look at the face of that young mother

      I’m surprised they didn’t play the same music from the animal shelters ad and cue the puppy dog eyes look.

      • 91. Michelle Evans  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

        Yes, if every straight couple were totally committed to each other and monogamous, then why is the “world’s oldest profession” still around? It is because of all the straight guys out to have sex outside of their monogamous marriage. Hypochristians, all.

    • 92. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      So all these sex clubs, nudie bars, strip clubs, adult book stores, etc that are EVERYWHERE and in EVERY city all catering to ‘straight’ men are what??? Are they not for hetro men? Are not a good percentage of the men frequenting these businesses ‘happily married’?
      Should NOM be looking into these sorts of businesses and activities? Do these businesses not threaten marriage? Do they not promote ‘infidelity’?

      • 93. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm

        Heh. I’ll bet you the proverbial nickel that if Brian Brown ever comes to San Francisco, he’ll spend every minute of it in the North Beach clubs (Big Al’s, The Condor, Hungry i, etc.).


      • 94. Dave in Maine  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm

        I just told my boyfriend about the NOM email and your response and he said maybe we should rename the strip clubs and call them “fidelity clubs”!


    • 95. Caitlyn  |  July 23, 2010 at 5:31 am

      Part of what I hate about what Brian (and many h8ers) is doing, is that he’s linking The Gay to Polyamory as if it is such a terrible thing, without even explaining why polyamory is so bad in the first place.
      I am bisexual and polyamorous. I am not any more or less moral than a heterosexual monamorous person; neither my sexuality nor my poly status changes that. What Brian is doing, however is making me ashamed to admit my polyamory in an attempt to help the cause of gay rights. He’s pushing me into a poly closet so that I can be out of the gay one. But the argument against polyamory is one that deserves its own place, and one that has as little footing as their argument against gay marriage.

      …Also, uh, is he talking about the “fearless” mother who was intimidated by people standing in a line 10 feet in front of her, as to so horribly blocking her view? Yeah… fearless.

  • 96. acorlando  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    We’ll be waiting for them in Tampa…with cameras rolling.

    • 97. PamC  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm

      Where in Tampa? I’m visiting my mom in Winter Park that week.

  • 98. bonobo  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Felyx: You are right of course. I took note of the “following” mishap, and even explained the legalities to my Mother, but somehow erred in mentioning it in my post. I had meant too.
    I’m glad you caught it and passed the knowledge along. Thank you for catching my screwup, but mostly for paying attention to the WHOLE video.
    I’ll be quiet now and go back to my lurking.


    • 99. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      I don’t know how right I am about the law but the part about getting arrested sucks…I am sure that I am dead on about that!

      I just want to see us succeed in getting out the clear message that we matter and that we are indeed normal people with the full range of normal human behaviours deserving of full equality.

      NOM is seeking to get its message out and energize its base. I am no judge on how they are doing amongst themselves but they sure are helping us get our word out by energizing our base!

      Love you all,

  • 100. Mykelb  |  July 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I will be waiting for them in DC, with a lot more than cameras rolling.

  • 101. Southern Bell  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    One thing I find interesting about this whole thing is that we’ve never seen Brian Brown’s family on this trip. I understand his wife likely could not get away for such an extended amount of time and maybe he wanted to keep his children away from the media. However, I think it dampens his message even further not to have his family there visibly supporting him when his whole speech is about marriage aka family. I’m not trying to give them pointers on how to look better…but family photo-opts seem to be a standard method of appealing to the ‘masses’ and part of his message is critical on people liking him. Does he ever mention his own family in his speeches?

    • 102. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Jeez Southern Bell,

      You make it sound like without iStockphotos there are just no families available to support discriminatory marriage laws!


    • 103. ArishaMichelle  |  July 23, 2010 at 5:54 am

      Actually Southern Bell,

      Brian’s wife and small children have been at each rally (“protected” by bodyguard). We’ll get a picture of her today; would love to interview his wife before this tour is all said and done.

      To everyone: I’m enjoying reading your comments. We’ve learned a lot from these last few stops (especially Annapolis) and will be working to improve our coverage as we move forward.

      In Solidarity,

  • 104. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    This is especially interesting when you remember that in the first emails and site posts about this tour, BB plainly stated that those on the bus would be himself, his wife, and their six children. Maybe he didn’t want to deal with a month of “Daddy, are we there yet?”
    Conversely, maybe the wife and kids are only a figment of his imagination, just the way most of the “facts” he spouts are.
    BTW, hello, BB and Louis.

    • 105. Michelle Evans  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      Yeah, sort of like Maggie’s invisible husband and wedding ring. Funny how hiding their spouses and families is typical policy with these people. I am proud of my relationship and my family. We never hide. BB, MG, and all the hypochristians have made it into a profession.

      • 106. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm

        I am not exactly skinny minnie here but when Brian stands next to Maggie I can only think they are a pair of hippochristians. Maybe if they were to ‘run’ this tour ‘cross-country’ they would not only get some support but even look good doing it! (Just a suggestion to you NOMosexuals lurking around in the cybershadows.)

        PS: If you read this Louis…we see your facebook page…

        Looks like going for a ‘cross-country run’ might help you out, too! (Girls like fit guys BTW.)

    • 107. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:35 am

      This reminds me of when The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, a Pennsylvania-based Catholic organization, was in town. They were visiting Bangor and other cities in the east and wore red sashes, standing on the street corner with signs asking drivers to honk their horns if they support traditional marriage.

      In one article I read, they stated that it was only men who were on this tour and that they left their families home for safety reasons. (We sort of questioned the idea of a group of young men, wearing red sashes, traveling together and sharing hotel rooms, but that’s a different topic!).

      You can read about there visit here (although the part about their families is not in this particular story).

      Dave in Maine

  • 108. PamC  |  July 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Brian and Louis!

    I’m a friend of marriage, too. In fact, my state allows marriage for all legally qualified, consenting adults. Their definition just happens to include gay couples.

    When my wife and I drove to Rhode Island from Connecticut, we crossed the state line and looked at each other. I said what we both were thinking: “Hey honey, we’re not married now!” Rather than smacking me down with some smart-aleck comeback (which she has every right to do), she nodded and said, “that’s just not right.”

    It’s just not right, Brian & Louis, that my wife and I have to carry legal documents to ensure power of attorney and health care proxy provisions are in place should one of us need services that the nearest family member may approve/disapprove, or to guarantee hospital visitation rights. It’s just not right that these type of worries are always on our minds (ALWAYS) whether we’re traveling or when we’re apart.

    It’s not right that we have to recalculate our taxes four times each year in order to file both state & federal. It’s not right that talking about my spouse can’t always be a casual reference to the woman I’ve shared 12 years (and will be with the rest of my born days).

    Having been allowed to call ourselves married in this state, we’ve had a taste of what that means in our neighborhood, on our jobs, when dealing with house repairs, joint financial planning, community services, volunteering–people look at us differently, grant us a known status, smile more easily, know where we’re coming from. Everyone understands what marriage is.

    Even, or rather especially people who are gay.

    • 109. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      As always Pam your posts are beautiful and well written.
      The section about you and your wife acknowledging the fact that across state lines you were no longer married brought a tear to my eyes and anger into my heart.
      We too never travel anywhere outside of state without a whole file folder full of legal paperwork just incase…so very very sad. :-(

      • 110. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

        By living in MA and working in RI, I am married and not married evry day for five days of the week! Thank GOD for the weekends! … daily transitioning like that can be very stressful!

    • 111. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 29, 2010 at 8:08 am

      @PamC & Ray in MA
      What are you talking about, people?
      I thought RI legally recognizes same-gender marriages performed out of state?
      If so, your marriages continue to exist in RI…

  • 112. B&E  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Here is an official response to the officer’s actions. We’ll see what, if anything comes of it.

    Dear Mr. Bradford:
    Thank you for contacting us. We are currently investigating this issue and we will most certainly let you know our findings as soon as possible.
    Christopher Falkenhagen
    Christopher Falkenhagen
    Special Assistant to the Secretary

  • 113. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Just got this from the MD police:

    Dear Mr. M:
    Thank you for contacting us. We are currently investigating this issue and we will most certainly let you know our findings.
    Christopher Falkenhagen

    Christopher Falkenhagen
    Special Assistant to the Secretary
    (Work) (410) 767-4956
    (Cell) (443) 721-0886
    301 W. Preston Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201

  • 114. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Did y’all hear the Officer!?!?!?

    “Sir, Can you turn me off the camera?”


    • 115. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      It’s very French in structure

  • 116. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Hey Josie-May! Can you throw me down the stairs my shoes?

    • 117. fiona64  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      While you’re at it, could you also throw me up the stairs my pants?

      It’s actually more Pennsylvania Dutch in structure than French to me, but so be it. :-)


  • 118. Chris B  |  July 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I read the article, and then all the comments. A few comments said he was very close to Brian. I agree, at the beginning, he was close. At one point, Brian even joked with him about not showing him his Blackberry. But it seemed like he was about 10 feet away, until Brian stepped closer to him to say “we have a permit…”. Then he got kind of PO’d. The video then jumped a bit in time. At that point, Jethro was about 20 or 30 feet away as Brian told everyone to get closer (and the birds tweeting sounded a little like crickets chirping, which was a little funny, since not many people were there.

    After the officer initially talked to him, Jethro was then filming from about 75 feet (?) away, definitely far from the crowd and the officer came back and told him to move across the street.

    I can understand having a separate place for protestors, but Jethro was not protesting. He was reporting on the event. Definitely the officer went overboard.

    The only problem I can see is that he didn’t turn the camera when the officer asked him to. But the officer was violating his rights, so I guess Jethro had a right to document that.

    (Not a lawyer or anything here, but I have been watching a lot of Perry Mason episodes lately.)

    • 119. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      I agree. Jethro was not there to protest.

  • 120. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Just got an email from AFA. The message I am taking from it is that I should shop at The Home Depot.


    AFA makes it official: Don’t shop at The Home Depot
    July 21, 2010

    Dear Alan,

    For several years, The Home Depot has given its financial and corporate support to open displays of homosexual activism on main streets in America’s towns. And, it says it will continue to do so!

    “At the end of the day here, we’re not going to…forbid our associates to be involved in these pride festivals in any way.” – Stephen Holmes, company spokesman. (Note: The associates participating in these parades were clearly doing so as representatives of the company.)

    Rejecting several requests by AFA to remain neutral in the culture war, The Home Depot has chosen to sponsor and participate in numerous gay pride parades and festivals. Most grievous is The Home Depot’s deliberately exposing small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers, which are a common occurrence at these events.

    The goal of every homosexual organization supported by The Home Depot is to get homosexual marriage legalized. BoycottTheHomeDepot provides just a glimpse of how broad its support for the homosexual movement is. The Home Depot says it is committed to furthering the homosexual agenda.

    “The bottom line is, it (remaining neutral) just runs counter to our inclusive culture…and that’s where we stand.” – Stephen Holmes, company spokesman.

    See it for yourself. Photos at, taken during recent homosexual events sponsored by The Home Depot, show:

    * Children being encouraged to visit gay sex websites.
    * Employees using company property to push gay marriage.
    * The Home Depot employees riding and marching in homosexual parades.


    1. Sign the Boycott Pledge at
    2. Call your local store manager. Let him know that you will not be shopping in his store until the company stops supporting the homosexual agenda. You can find his number here. (click “Store Finder”).
    3. Print the paper petition and distribute it at Sunday School and church.
    4. Extremely important! Post this alert to your facebook page (link above) and encourage others to join the boycott!
    It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.

    • 121. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      Firstly, I love Home Depot!

      But gotta love the lies…
      * Children being encouraged to visit gay sex websites.
      * Employees using company property to push gay marriage.

      Now this one, why can’t their employees ride in, or march in, a parade?
      * The Home Depot employees riding and marching in homosexual parades.

      Fear mongering doesn’t work on smart people.

    • 122. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      They must have had a slow news day at AFA – or someone accidentally hit ‘resend.’ They kicked up this stink a month ago. It was widely reported around the 21st, 22nd of June. At the time, it inspired me to write to Home Depot and commend them for their commitment to diversity.

      For anyone who is interested, here’s an official page from the HD website with their statement on divesity:

      • 123. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        Thanks for that link Kathleen. I love Home Depot even more!

      • 124. Dave P.  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm

        Yeah, I remember this! And I wrote to Home Depot too, thanking them and their staff for supporting equal rights and letting them know I would show my appreciation by shopping there.

        Plus there’s always the chance that while I’m there I’ll meet some great guy with a toolbelt who looks like the guy on the Brawny paper towel wrapper. Hey, it could happen : ) Didn’t mention that last part in my letter to them.

      • 125. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

        We actually called Brad Shaw on the direct dial line the AFA gave in their first email about this, and we could tell by the change in his administrative assistant’s voice that they had gotten a lot of calls from AFA supporters about that. She was definitely and noticeably relieved and pleased when we told her to tell Mr. Shaw that we would be taking what few DIY dollars we did not already spend at Home Depot to Home Depot. I mean, HD is where we spend most of our money on DIY anyway, but they will be getting even more of it now. And yes, there are several Rainbow Tribe folks at our local HD.

    • 126. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:41 am

      There was a letter in the Bangor Daily News from one of the reactionaries (who writes in every couple of months) telling us to STOP DRINKING PEPSI! THEY SUPPORT TEH GAY!!! Blah blah blah about Pepsi doing something for a gay organization in Britain, I think.

      So, I drink Pepsi now.

      “Most grievous is The Home Depot’s deliberately exposing small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers, which are a common occurrence at these events.” It seems a stretch that the HD is the entity that is directly responsible for these displays and that they are the ones forcing small children to see them. Twisting fact to create fear is the best tool they have.

      Dave in Maine

      • 127. Chris  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:58 am

        Interesting… considering that isn’t PepsiCo owned largely by Mormons?

        But yay for Home Depot! I usually can’t stand them–too big, can never find any real help, etc.–but I think we ought to all write them counter-protest letters. “Dear Home Depot, I know you’re under pressure to stop supporting our civil rights, but if you stop, we’ll stop shopping you…”

  • 128. Straight Grandmother  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I wonder what the outcome of this situation would have been if there had been significant counter protesters there? Brian Brown saw that there was no one to stand up to him, or to stand for our Courage Team. He took advantage of that situation and got the officer on his side. If there are more people, meaning more counter protesting, then there are more cops instead of a lone cop calling the shots on his own.

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

      He would have started coughing, excusing himself for being sick, and then saying the people left because he wasn’t there.

      Just more lies.

  • 130. Alan E.  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Take a look at this “poll.” This site always has answers that are highly polarized and never have an option that shows an unbiased opinion, but this one has an option that just takes the cake:

    The poll is closed, but Option 3, with about 45% of the vote, is just ridiculous.

    What’s your reaction to the CDC report that attempts to link HIV/AIDS transmission with an individual’s economic condition?
    A politically correct report from a government agency – 12.00%
    Consistent with the Obama wealth-redistribution philosophy – 42.16%
    The Bible says sin is sin – regardless of economics – 45.84%
    6756 responses

    How can HIV/AIDS itself be a sin?

    • 131. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      You’re questioning magical thinking?

  • 132. bJason  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    My thoughts to BB and friends (as I have heard that they read this)

    Dear Mr. Brown,

    I recently had an epiphany I’d like to share with you.

    Like yourself (and many others on both sides), I have been obsessed of late with the current battle over Marriage. It has consumed me for months now. I follow the news. I contribute to my cause. I talk to my friends and family. I cast my ballot. I lose sleep. I keep thinking – once this is decided, I can move on with my life. And that is the problem. I have believed that once this is done, things will be different for me. That may be true in a grand sense but I will still be me. I won’t wake up as someone else, someone better adjusted or more happy. My immediate situation will not have changed. Only I can change my immediate situation.

    What I fear for you (and your “brethren”) is that you haven’t yet realized the same thing. Win or lose, nothing in your immediate world will change. Your own marriage will not have changed. You as a person will not have changed. You will still be you. Are you prepared for that day? Will you then look inside yourself? If you truly loved your family, you would be home with them – you couldn’t stand to not be. What is it about you and your own family that compels you to fight to deny others the chance to even have a family?

    How does your marriage affect the marriage of your neighbors? It really doesn’t. Your marriage has meaning to your family only. Ultimately, I think that is what you fear. That your marriage doesn’t mean enough to you, for whatever reason, to focus on it and leave everyone else alone. Its too bad that you feel this way. I don’t understand why you care about MY marriage. You don’t know me. I don’t know you and I don’t think that your marriage affects me. There is no slippery slope. Your marriage will not lead to men marrying multiple women or family pets or footballs or children. It would be insane for me to think that it would. Your argument is equally insane – you know that. I want to go home at the end of each day to the person I love. I want to give comfort to and get comfort from that person. I want to know that I have provided for all eventualities of life that I could and that my government will back me up. I do not want to deny anyone else that peace. I can’t understand why you do. You must look inside yourself for those answers.

    You and yours say that you are fighting for marriage – I’m confused. You have marriages. If you are not happy in them then fight the cause of that. Mine being illegal will not strengthen yours. Only you can do that. Win or lose, if you don’t know what you will do then – what your doing now really doesn’t matter. Your current struggles pertain to the world outside. Someday, you will have to go inside. Your fight with me will end. Things will be no different for you when it does. Prepare for it now.

    May peace be with you always,

    • 133. Rhonda  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      Very on target! I love it!

      <3 Rhonda

    • 134. Rhonda  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      beware the National Organization of Martyrdom (NOM)

    • 135. Mark M  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      Well said Jason! :-)

  • 136. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    This is good… the NON Tour Tracker is becoming the NOM Nut Cracker!

  • 137. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Maryland Police Overwhelmed By NOM’s Enormous Crowds Numbering In the Ones

    Read more:

  • 138. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Our pal Vito… in the news:

    NOM Reports: Homosexual Activists ‘Targeted Young Children With Intimidation’

    Read more:

  • 139. Brad  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    There is so much content and commentary to read – so maybe this has been said – but:

    LET’S PLAN TO RALLY AND MEET IN DC!!!!!!! Everyone who can possibly make it there! Let’s counter protest NOM on August 15th!!!!!!!!

    • 140. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      Brad, are you on FB? Are you willing to organize and coordinate a group in your local area and get with us on a FB page that is dedicated to just exactly what you said? I hope so. If you are, please go to “Let’s All Unite for Equality and Ride to Washington, DC at One Time” on FB. We are trying to set it up so that all the groups determine their departure time by the travel time from the departure point, and all of us get to DC at the same time on August 15th. But right now, there are only two admins, and both of us are in NC. We really need the help. You will know the you are on the right page, believe me. the picture of the bumper sticker that I put on my car will let you know that.

  • 141. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm


    This is wrong in so so many ways. As sad and unbelievable as this news report is, this is one of the many reasons why we need Marriage Equality — NOW!
    Texas mom challenges transgender widow’s marriage

    “HOUSTON—The family of a southeast Texas firefighter killed in a July 4 blaze has sued to void his marriage to his transgender widow and prevent her from getting his death benefits because she was born a man and Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages.”

    Read More:

  • 142. Sagesse  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Here’s a write-up, but no link to the video

    Documenter Booted From Anti-Gay Marriage Rally In Annapolis

  • 143. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Avoiding NOM’s Trap

    The anti-gay “National Organization for Marriage” (NOM) has clearly run out of arguments. Rather than discussing marriage, NOM’s leaders are engaging in a familiar tactic in their anti-gay summer bus tour by drumming up a false narrative about the “discrimination” facing opponents of marriage equality.

    Read More:

    • 144. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:47 am

      And telling their supporters that gays have a monopoly on infidelity….

      Thanks for posting this link, LLB!

      Dave in Maine

  • 145. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    The continuum:

    Protest Planned Against ’Americans for Truth’ Anti-Gay Workshop

  • 146. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    The National Organization for Marriage has – added honesty – on its own website: “The National Organization for Marriage — a Princeton-based anti-gay rights group” (bold-italic emphasis mine.)

    • 147. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      PS, I took a screen shot, I just couldn’t resist.

    • 148. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      The BS “is palbable”

      • 149. Ray in MA  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm

        My anger got my typing… “palpable” of course.

      • 150. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

        At least they are starting to admit they are an ‘Anti-Gay Rights Group.’

    • 151. Billy  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm

      They’re quoting from a news article about them.

      The link is on the page.. :p

      • 152. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

        Yes Billy, I knew that. The whole point is that they keep saying they are not a hate group (hence they are not anti-gay) but they are only for traditional family and procreation.

        But, they kept that part of the press release and didn’t make a statement. The writers of the press release snuck that one by NOM.

    • 153. Straight Grandmother  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      LLB, on that link you provided to NOM, I don’t see where it says anti-gay. Where is it exactly?

      • 154. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm

        In the press release:

        CHERRY HILL — Supporters and opponents of gay marriage in New Jersey hope to shake up an otherwise sleepy day in Trenton.

        The National Organization for Marriage — a Princeton-based anti-gay rights group — is bringing its “Summer for Marriage Tour” to the state today.

    • 155. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 4:50 am

      Hmmm…..are they saying that they are against the gays or against the rights for gays? Then again, is there a difference? Oh, yeah, they love us, but hate the gay part, if I remember correctly…

      Dave in Maine

  • 156. Box Turtle Bulletin » A Summer FOR Marriage tour  |  July 22, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    […] have people show up. Unlike NOM’s event in the empty plaza in Annapolis (you have to see the video: there was literally no one standing in the plaza in the sun when the event started), there were […]

  • 157. Sean  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I know this is totally off-topic, but…it’s now been two weeks since Judge Taura struck down Section 3 of DOMA, am I correct? I was under the impression that there was a two week staying period following the decision. Now that it has officially been two weeks and the Justice Department has yet to appeal the case…doesn’t that mean same-sex married couples can begin applying for federal benefits? Or am I jumping the gun here?

    • 158. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      Sean, I’ve been hunting for updates and have seen nothing. The two week stay starts ticking when the the plaintiffs receive final judgment in the cases. This is a technical thing, and hadn’t happened yet when GLAD put out its FAQ on the case shortly after the decision was published. From the FAQ:

      The plaintiffs have not received final judgment in these cases, which should come shortly. The judgments will then be automatically “stayed” (or delayed from taking effect) for fourteen days, within which time we expect the Department of Justice to ask that the stay be extended until any appeals are completed.

      I don’t know what constitutes “shortly” nor how much time typically there is between decision and final judgment. And, as I said, I haven’t been able to find an update anywhere.

      • 159. Sean  |  July 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm

        Oh, I see now. Staying time doesn’t begin until final judgments…which haven’t happened yet. Damn! And here I thought we’d actually won by default! Guess now all we can do is hope the DoJ chooses not to appeal and save us a lot of time, energy, and money.

        Anyway, thanks for the info, Kathleen! I owe you one!

      • 160. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm

        Actually, Sean, in order for this to become a binding precedent in future cases, we will be better off if this is appealed at least to the court of appeals for this circuit. that way, as more and more states legalize marriage equality, more and more couples will be eligible for the same federal benefits. Also, the more binding this precedent becomes, the easier it will be to strike down the rest of this discriminatory dinosaur.

      • 161. Sean  |  July 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm

        Alright, I see what you mean now. I guess I just want the arguments and obstacles out of the way as soon as possible (who doesn’t, right?), but you’re absolutely right. It would be best for this to go all the way and set an example.

        Sorry bout that., but thanks for the clarification! I owe you one too!

  • 162. Shun  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Off-topic but I think it deserves a mention.

    Texas mom challenges transgender widow’s marriage

    By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press Writer Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 28 mins ago
    HOUSTON – The family of a southeast Texas firefighter killed in a July 4 blaze has sued to void his marriage to his transgender widow and prevent her from getting his death benefits because she was born a man and Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages.

    The attorney for the mother of Thomas Araguz III said Thursday that the firefighter only learned of his wife’s gender history and after he found out, he moved out of their home and planned to end the marriage.

    But a tearful Nikki Araguz said her marriage was not a fraud.

    “I’m absolutely devastated about the loss of my husband. I’m horrified at the horrendous allegations accusing me of fraud. They are absolutely not true,” Araguz, 35, told reporters during a brief statement at a news conference.

    Thomas Araguz died while battling a blaze at an egg farm in Boling, about 55 miles southwest of Houston. The 11-year veteran of the Wharton Volunteer Fire Department was trapped by falling debris in a burning production building.

    In a lawsuit filed July 12 in Wharton County, his mother, Simona Longoria, asked to be appointed administrator of her son’s estate and that her son’s marriage to Nikki Araguz be voided because the couple were members of the same sex.

    According to court documents included as part of the lawsuit, Nikki Araguz was born Justin Graham Purdue and changed her name to Nikki Paige Purdue in February 1996.

    Voiding the marriage would prevent Araguz from receiving any insurance or death benefits or property the couple had, with these things only going to her husband’s heirs, said Chad Ellis, Longoria’s attorney.

    A Friday court hearing is planned to determine whether to extend a temporary restraining order granted Longoria that prevents Araguz from receiving insurance or death benefits or having access to bank accounts or property the couple had.

    “Nikki is attempting to make a huge money grab,” Ellis said.

    But Darrell Steidley, one of Araguz’s attorneys, said Thomas Araguz was aware his wife had been born a man and that the couple still was living together at the time of his death. The couple had been married for nearly two years.

    “We’re going to assert her rights as a spouse of a fallen firefighter,” Steidley said.

    Ellis said his client’s efforts to void the marriage are supported by Texas law, specifically a 1999 appeals court ruling that stated chromosomes, not genitals, determine gender.

    The ruling upheld a lower court’s decision that threw out a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a San Antonio woman, Christie Lee Cavazos Littleton, after her husband’s death. The court said that although Littleton had undergone a sex-change operation, she was actually a man, based on her original birth certificate, and therefore her marriage, as well as her wrongful death claim, was invalid.

    “The law is clear, you are what you are born as,” Ellis said.

    While Phyllis Frye, one of Nikki Araguz’s attorneys, declined to comment on what role the 1999 appellate ruling will play in her client’s case, she said the decision “wrecked a lot of lives.”

    In April, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office was asked to give a legal opinion in a separate case on an issue connected to the 1999 ruling.

    El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal asked for an opinion on whether the county clerk’s office could issue a marriage license to two West Texas women if one of the women, who had previously undergone a sex change, presented a birth certificate that identified her as being born a man.

    The West Texas couple didn’t wait and went to San Antonio, where Bexar County officials granted them a marriage license, saying they relied on the 1999 ruling. Bexar County has previously issued marriage licenses in similar situations.

    Abbott’s office has yet to issue an opinion.

  • 166. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Ohio remembers this NOM… Maggie saying “We’re here and were NOT Queer – get used to it.”

    Good luck to all the Marriage Equality Ohioans tomorrow in Columbus.

  • 167. Steve  |  July 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for keeping the spotlight on these guys and all of their lies, failures and sleezy tactics. Please keep up the good work!

  • 168. Adam  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    We’re waiting for you here in DC. Bring it on, homophobes.

  • 169. Dave in CA  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    As a former Ohioan, I am wondering why in the world they chose Lima. It’s got about 50,000 people and is in the middle of farming country. If anyone shows up for their rally, it’s going to be because… well… there just isn’t much else to do around there.

    Maybe they’ll get some folks from Toledo or Bowling Green or Dayton, but Lima is pretty much out of the way… (two counties over from where I grew up…)

    • 170. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      Probably a big donor of NOM lives in Lima. Perhaps you will know after tomorrow.

      • 171. Billy  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

        They obviously have high hopes in Ohio, holding two rallies here. Who knows…

    • 172. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

      They’re splitting whatever audience they have (and whatever protest resources the marriage equality side has).

      Ohio is one of the states I don’t understand… is there some movement toward a vote that they’re getting ready for? If there is, it’s pretty much under the radar.

  • 173. Dave in CA  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Well…. i can tell ya one thing, it’ll be the most exciting thing to happen in Lima in …. oh…. quite a while… not since Farmer Brown had a chicken laid an egg that time with two yolks in it, remember that Edna? yeah George, I remember that, that was sumthin’, wasn’t it.

    Bein’ from Ohio, I can say stuff like that. That’s my kinfolk back there. If I had known y’all was coming, I had invited ya up the road apiece to my Mom’s place for her pork ribs and sauerkraut and potato salad.

    • 174. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm

      I guess you made my decision for me on what to have for breakfast tomorrow…eggs it is!

      BTW, for the first time in my life, earlier this year, I had cracked an egg with two yolks. I cringed at eating it…but hunger (and it was my last egg) was the deciding factor.

      (but no sauerkraut over the eggs tomorrow)

      • 175. Dave in CA  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

        Oh, no, that would be bad. You put ketchup on eggs; sauerkraut goes on pork with dark pumpernickel bread. Or hot dogs. But not at the same meal!

        I have no idea what “Dave’s Old Market Place” is, but you are really going to be out in the boonies, and surrounded by farmland; my bet is the local police are even less aware of legal nuances like “it’s not illegal to take photos in a public place” than you came across in Annapolis. Wouldn’t surprise me if this really is out in the country and off the highway, and not even in Lima proper – when you drive through Lima you’ll miss it if you blink.

        Should be interesting. Maybe I can talk my brother into driving down to see y’all and say “hey.”

  • 176. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    #1 reason why I should move my business to California….

    Sonoma County No.2 “gayest” area in U.S.

    • 177. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2010 at 5:34 am

      Note on the last page that Columbus, OH is #16. A reason for NOM to head for Ohio, perhaps?

      • 178. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 23, 2010 at 6:13 am

        Then why are they going to Raleigh, NC instead of Charlotte. Everybody in NC know that the Queen City is also our City of Queens. Never mind, I just answered my own question. They don’t want to be that close to us in that large a number. They might actually have to pretend they have manners. Either that, or the backdrop in Charlotte would really accentuate just how drab BB and the minions with him truly are.

      • 179. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2010 at 6:28 am


        For the most part they are hitting state capitals. Which is where the legislators are… except when they’re on summer recess? Except that they don’t seem to meeting with legislators or governors or candidates?

        I understand states where marriage equality is an issue, or is about to become an issue (Minnesota, for example, is heating up). But why Ohio, or North Carolina, or Florida?

      • 180. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 23, 2010 at 6:34 am

        They may be trying to undo everything that was accomplished in May when we had our Day of Action at the Legislature, and trying to con people into believing that everything accomplished then is totally evil and anti-marriage. Of course, we all know that this is not the case, but there are those who will fall for it. In many ways, the Mayberry RFD mentality is still in existence here.

      • 181. Kathleen  |  July 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

        The only thing I know about Florida is that it’s the only state which has an out and out ban on a gay individual adopting children. And that ban is currently being challenged in a very visible court case. Maybe NOM fears that the state’s virulent anti-gay stance is softening and he wants to be sure his base is energized there, long before there’s any question of marriage.

  • 182. Kathleen  |  July 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    DRAT! I just posted another update about the conference call on the issue of “Reuniting Families Act” but didn’t notice when I did the cut and paste that there are multiple links. So it’s stuck in moderation (likely ’till morning).

    Anyway, one of the important bits is this:
    *If you are located outside the United States and Canada, you must register at by Monday, July 26 to join the call.

  • 183. Franck  |  July 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Another OT, but since we’re talking about homophobic loons anyway… Here, have a link and feel proud if you’re a nerd. Seriously, seeing that was a nice way to start the day.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1127 days, as of today.

  • 184. rick jacobs  |  July 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I’m here in Las Vegas for Netroots Nation together with Cait, Eden, Robert and Andy of our staff. Arisha and team are on the road. You’ll see them in Ohio.

    Your posts and energy transform our staff. We are all committed, but we are not a great big institution. In fact, we’re quite the opposite of that, which is why our team could move so fast.

    At any rate, thanks for the letters about the police situation, for the truth squad about Mr. Brown’s empty tour and tactics, for the community. This is the feel of change and victory: it starts with community and builds outward.

    Again, thanks.


  • 185. matthew  |  July 23, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Over at the nomblog they are still harping about providence. Reassuring everyone that the mainstream media isn’t covering how the evil hateful gays have been victimizing them and intimidating their nursing mothers. Sad. If they spin these events any harder they are liable to fly off the ‘edge’ of the planet.

    THe story at the top of their blog reads ‘We brought children, they brought rocks.”

    Give me a break.

    I posted a response to someone who commented how they got nothing against our gayness but they don’t like us because we’re so evil and hateful to the children. We’ll see if it gets past the anti-gay filter.

  • 187. Phillip R  |  July 23, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Just checked the NOM site and not a single word on their frontpage about this event at all. I’m guessing that the laughable situation and turnout is an embarrassment.

  • 188. Deacon Maccubbin  |  July 23, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Just got a phone call from Chief Phil Palmere of the Maryland Capitol Police. Having completed his investigation, he wanted to express his concern over the incident in Annapolis and reassure everyone that the officer will be retrained, and that he “regrets any inconvenience”. He sounded very sincere about making sure that no one’s rights ever be violated again, and he clearly understood that his officer had erred.

    • 189. fiona64  |  July 23, 2010 at 8:35 am

      Thanks for letting us know!


    • 190. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

      Did he say if a public/formal appology was forthcoming?

      • 191. Deacon Maccubbin  |  July 23, 2010 at 8:52 am

        Yes, Chief Palmere indicated that a formal statement would be forthcoming. He also said he would be personally contacting (by email or phone) everyone who had written or phoned about the incident.

      • 192. Alan E.  |  July 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

        I can’t wait to get that email response then! I signed my letter as:

        Alan Eckert
        American Citizen

    • 193. Alan E.  |  July 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

      Woo hoo! That’s great!

    • 194. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

      Thank you for passing this on, Deacon Maccubbin.

    • 195. VRAlbany  |  July 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Dear Ms. Roth,
      Thank you for contacting me regarding the situation that occurred on July 21 at Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis. I have thoroughly investigated this incident and have concluded that the situation should have been handled differently. I regret the way this was conducted and take full responsibility for any inconvenience or embarrassment this may have caused. We are already in the process of instituting corrective training measures to address issues of this nature in the future.

      We are also in the process of modifying our website to include the rules and regulations on the utilization of Lawyer’s Mall for both those who apply and are approved for permits, for those who are observing, and for any counter-demonstrators.

      Once again I greatly appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention. If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (410) 260-2901 in Annapolis, (410) 767-6744 in Baltimore City or by e-mail at

      Phil Palmere
      Chief of Police
      Department of General Services Maryland Capitol Police

      Good on him.

    • 197. Michael  |  July 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      I also have received an email. Very nice and very apologetic.

  • 198. Deacon Maccubbin  |  July 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

    BTW, it was Mr. McCoy with NOM who had asked the officer to intervene and remove certain people (including the videographer) from the rally site.

  • 199. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 23, 2010 at 8:50 am


  • 200. Alan E.  |  July 23, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Dear Mr. Eckert,

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the situation that occurred on July 21 at Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis. I have thoroughly investigated this incident and have concluded that the situation should have been handled differently. I regret the way this was conducted and take full responsibility for any inconvenience or embarrassment this may have caused. We are already in the process of instituting corrective training measures to address issues of this nature in the future.

    We are also in the process of modifying our website to include the rules and regulations on the utilization of Lawyer’s Mall for both those who apply and are approved for permits, for those who are observing, and for any counter-demonstrators.

    Once again I greatly appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention. If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (410) 260-2901 in Annapolis, (410) 767-6744 in Baltimore City or by e-mail at


    Phil Palmere

    Chief of Police
    Department of General Services Maryland Capitol Police

    • 201. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 9:40 am

      Great job, Alan!

    • 202. fiona64  |  July 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

      I just got the same letter. :-)


    • 203. Sagesse  |  July 23, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Well done :).

      I may have missed it, but did Courgage Campaign complain directly? It would be nice to see the official reaction posted, you know, publicly — well, more publicly than just here — along with the video.

      This forms a basis for discussing with local authorities in the remaining stops on the tour and avoiding a repeat.

  • 204. Dave in Maine  |  July 23, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I am a contact of NOM’s on Flickr and I get their photos in my inbox whenever they post new ones. So, taking, yet another, break during work today, I started clicking through their photos…

    It’s ironic that this black man seems to be advocating the “right” to vote on the rights of minorities:

    Also, take a look at the other photos of this “rally.” They all look bored, hot, ( and only a couple really seem interested, like the lady on the left in this photo: Maybe she is with the tour?

    Dave in Maine

  • 205. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I just got the same letter a minute ago myself.

  • […] BREAKING (NEW VIDEO): NOM Tour Tracker forced to move, threatened with arrest in Maryland […]

  • […] BREAKING (NEW VIDEO): NOM Tour Tracker forced to move, threatened with arrest in Maryland […]

  • […] after eight absolutely disastrous tour stops, the threatened arrest of our videographer, the sudden disappearance of Brian Brown (as featured on this milk carton), and the sudden […]

  • […] week, NOM Tour Tracker reported that the Courage Campaign Institute’s videographer, Jethro Rothe-Kushel, was threatened with […]

  • […] But now that you’re talking First Amendment rights, let’s talk a bit about our cameraman that you had the Maryland police threaten to arrest in Annapolis the last time you were on […]

  • […] on the guest list, a similar scenario to the event in Annapolis NOM event when Jethro Rothe-Kushel, our videographer, was threatened with arrest for merely trying to film the […]

  • […] running, and helped bring you the first video footage from the tour (which resulted in his being threatened with arrest by the Annapolis police). He’s now back in CA and shared his reflections on what it was like […]

  • […] of times staff have been told they cannot film by police: 3 (Annapolis, where Jethro was threatened with arrest; Atlanta, until NOM changed its mind; and St. Louis, where an arbitrary guest list was […]

  • […] by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations.  It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events and NOM’s sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to […]

  • […] by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations.  It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events, and NOM’s sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to […]

  • […] by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations.  It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events and NOM’s sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to […]

  • […] by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations.  It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events and NOM’s sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to […]

  • […] by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations.  It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events, and NOM’s sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to […]

  • […] supporters of equality stood up and exposed him and his organization for what they are, so he tried to have us evicted in Annapolis over the summer, an event for which the police apologized to Courage Campaign Institute. Alfonso […]

  • […] supporters of equality stood up and exposed him and his organization for what they are, so he tried to have us evicted in Annapolis over the summer, an event for which the police apologized to Courage Campaign Institute. Alfonso […]

  • […] and the events prior to that on the NOM “Summer for Marriage” tour, when Brian Brown tried to have our videographer evicted. Both events are examples of NOM’s bullying that went too […]

  • […] and the events prior to that on the NOM “Summer for Marriage” tour, when Brian Brown tried to have our videographer evicted. Both events are examples of NOM’s bullying that went too […]

  • […] Why haven’t you apologized for your actions that led to a Courage Campaign videographer being threatened with arrest, undermining his first amendment rights in Annapolis, Maryland, this summer? The Annapolis Chief of […]


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