Meet the Trackers, part 1: Anthony Ash

July 31, 2010 at 6:30 am 90 comments

By Adam Bink

We’ve gone several weeks here at NOMTourTracker.com covering NOM and all their crazy #FAIL. You’ve seen the video interviews with everyone from Larry Adams and Brian Brown to Monica Meyer and equality supporters across the country.

But what you (and I!) don’t know a whole lot about is who is bringing you that coverage. Where do those videos come from, anyway?

They come from this man:

Anthony Ash, NOMTourTracker.com

But wait, you say: who is that man behind the camera? Where is he from? And what awesome product keeps his hair so upright, anyway?

We will answer that question today in a new series I’ve started called “Meet the Trackers”- an introduction between you and our tracking team on the road. Below is a series of questions I put together to help us meet our intrepid trackers and learn a little bit more about who they are, what they do, what makes them tick, and the crucial question, what occupation they think Maggie Gallagher would hold if she wasn’t with NOM.

Today’s interview is with Anthony Ash, the current NOMTourTracker.com videographer.

Where do you hail from?

From the bible belt of California, Fresno.

What brings you to Courage Campaign and the pro-equality movement?

I got my start at Camp Courage and I was so moved by the experience that I knew that Courage and this movement was where I belonged.

With the Courage Campaign, you’re the Central California Field Organizer. How long have you been with Courage, and what does that role look like?

I have been with Courage since May of 2009. As the Central California Field Organizer I find myself being a bit of a chameleon. The Central California region is very diverse with areas that are very developed and very rural. My organizing also takes many different forms from organizing a Prop 8 decision day rally to organizing voter actions for local and statewide elections.

Got any favorite California propositions you’re pulling for election or defeat of?

Well, I hope Meg Whitman goes back to eBay and leaves California politics alone. I am also rooting for the passage of Prop. 19 [to legalize and regulate certain marijuana-related activities].

Any predictions for what Ahnold will do upon leaving the governor’s mansion?

Lord willing RETIRE from EVERYTHING!

Tell us what a day in the life on the road with NOM looks like, from eye-open to eye-shut.

I don’t think I’ve gotten to close my eyes yet.

Best and worst meals you’ve had on the road during the NOM tour. Go.

Best- at a restaurant in Madison called “old fashioned.” REALLY good burger! But still not quite sure what a cheese curd is.

Worst- Indianapolis, Peppy’s grill. The only place that we could find on Yelp that was open late. I had to wring my French fries out and my burger was made the complete opposite of what I wanted, it included ONLY the things I ask to have taken off.

Tell us where you think the pro-marriage equality movement is going.

Well, regardless of where this movement is going, it is definitely going to be a marathon rather than a sprint. One thing that I have observed from being on the road with the opposition, is they are always looking for a new spin or new angle that they could use to strike fear and hate into people. As we learned with the Bush administration, fear and hate can be very motivating.

When you’re not working on winning marriage equality for same-sex couples and exposing NOM’s failures and falsehoods, what issues most interest you?

HIV prevention and advocacy- I have some very close friends and loved ones that is affected by this issue.

The NOM tour stopped in Lima, Ohio, where the hit TV show Glee is fictionally set. If you could quote Sue Sylvester to Brian Brown, what would you say?

“I’m going to ask you to smell your armpits. That’s the smell of failure, and it’s stinking up my office.”

Okay, you’ve wrestled control of the stereo from your fellow NOM Tour Trackers for the drive to the next stop. What’s on tap for the next couple of hours?

Well, I am a musical floozy and listen to all types of music. BUT on long road trips there is nothing that can make the time go by faster than my FAV Kelly Clarkson! If you see three Californians driving by and the guy is rocking out, that’s ME and I’m probably rocking out to Kelly (sorry gays that I didn’t say Gaga).

We all know Courage Campaign’s Eden James is a fountain of wisdom for organizers. My favorite nugget of wisdom: “On conference calls, silence equals consent.” Yours?

“Can someone mute themselves?” or “If it’s not written down, it never happened”.

Finish this sentence: When this tour ends, the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is…

SLEEP!

Finish this sentence: If Maggie Gallagher had any other occupation, she would…

A telemarketer- she’s used to rejection.

Last question: if you could have any three dinner guests, who would they be and what would you serve?

All I’m asking for is a one on one dinner with Ricky Martin, can someone out there make that happen?!

Got any closing message for our readers here at NOMTourTracker.com?

Keep fighting for equality! As we make these stops across the country following NOM, it makes me so proud to be doing what I am doing out here on the road when I see so many people fighting for equality show up to these events. In Madison, when I saw nearly 500 equality supporters coming down the road, I had a hard time filming because the tears wouldn’t stop coming.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta, NOM Tour Tracker.

You asked, and NOM’s Brian Brown was forced to answer Sock Puppets and Sugar Daddies: NOM and GOProud hand in hand

90 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Nice to meet you, Tony.

    Question: are you going to introduce people in alphabetical order, guys? A.A. is first. :)

    Reply
    • 2. adambink  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:20 am

      It is, but I am not. Whoever gets their responses in first! There will be several intros, though.

      Reply
    • 3. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:45 am

      Hey there!

      Reply
  • 4. Paul in Minneapolis  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:20 am

    NOM has a new post on its site entitled “NOM Calls on Gay Rights Leaders to Repudiate Politics of Hatred, Disrespect.” Here was my response to it (which I’m sure they won’t let through):

    What you claim is the “face of the gay marriage movement” is really a very small number of people.

    At your Indianapolis rally, a NOM supporter carried a sign reading “THE SOLUTION TO GAY MARRIAGE.” Pictured next to this were two nooses. You claimed that this sign does not represent NOM.

    If one sign does not represent NOM, how do a small number of people disrupting your rallies represent “the face of the gay marriage movement?”

    It is hypocritical for your organization to dismiss the inappropriate actions of one person as unrepresentative of NOM while painting your opponents with a broad brush defined by the inappropriate actions of a handful of protesters.

    As a supporter of both same-sex marriage and freedom of speech, I disapprove of inappropriate disruptions of your rallies. However, I also deplore your exaggerations, distortions and misrepresentations of those disruptions.

    If you have not seen my questions for NOM, which I posted last night under “Hey, readers: what would you ask NOM?”, please take a look. One of them addresses this very issue.

    Reply
    • 5. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:39 am

      Couldn’t we just as easily and appropriately Call on NOM to repudiate the hatred and bigotry expressed by the speakers they invite to share their podium?

      Reply
      • 6. Paul in Minneapolis  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:16 am

        Apples and oranges.

        What NOM is trying to do is pin the actions of a few people acting on their own as representative of all supporters of same-sex marriage. This is like our side trying to associate Larry Adams’ sign with NOM or all opponents of same-sex marriage.

        Contrast that to NOM’s speakers, all of whom NOM invited. The mere fact that NOM invited them to speak on their tour, without any disclaimers, automatically creates an association between what the speakers say and NOM’s approval thereof. At this late date NOM cannot repudiate any hatred or bigotry spewed by its invited speakers. And they wouldn’t even if they could do so credibly.

        So it is entirely fair to use anything NOM’s speakers say — or even the fact that they trot out a large number of religious leaders — against NOM. That’s very different from using the actions of one or two people acting independently as a broad brush.

        Reply
      • 7. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:22 am

        Hmm….that calls to mind the ‘splinter vs plank’ analogy a certain esteemed person used as recorded in the New Testament.

        Reply
    • 8. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:41 am

      I think that it’s VERY easy for us to become distracted from the real issue. Both sides have loud fringe elements that don’t represent the main group. Acknowledge and move on. They are baiting us with this issue to distract us from the main point-they want us to become an invisible minority with no rights like we were 40 years ago.

      Asking what we should ask B. S. Brown is irrelevant. He wants us stopped, end of story. He could say stuff we disagree with and he could say stuff we think is nice, bless his heart, but the end result, from his point of view, is that they want us GONE.

      Pissing contests to highlight which side has the most hate is a distraction. Don’t give in to him on this.

      Dave in Maine

      Reply
      • 9. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:52 am

        Dave–Good point.

        What we see from Brian is classic schoolyard bully tactics. He picks and teases and harasses until his victim has had more than he can take and lashes out, and then the bully goes crying to the teacher.

        Well Brian, the teacher (Christian Right) may side with you; but I’m pretty sure that poor, picked-on kid has parents who are going to go straight to the principal (state courts) and if that doesn’t resolve things, they’ll move on to the school board (SC). And when it gets to that leve, no one is going to care about your popularity. All they’ll be interested in hearing are the facts–FROM BOTH SIDES.

        We win!

        Reply
      • 10. Paul in Minneapolis  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:36 am

        I agree with Linda the NOM is a pack of bullies.

        I was bullied quite a bit as a kid. I’ve since learned to stand up to bullies, and I rather enjoy it. I stand up to them online by simply stating the facts. I’ve found it to be very effective, as evidenced by NOM’s refusal to release my posts on their site. Obviously something hits a nerve with them.

        Yes, both sides have their fringe elements. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t call NOM on its lies or stand up to its bullying.

        In this case, it’s not just about fringe elements. It’s about NOM trying to misrepresent our fringe element while dismissing theirs. It’s a hypocrisy that needs to be called. Why? Because they’re exploiting it on their website, in their e-mail blasts, and in fundraising letters to their supporters.

        True, we can’t go down every tangent NOM wants to deflect us; it is better if we, not NOM, control the debate. But it is important to counter their spin tactics with the truth. If we let their lies remain unchallanged, it will embolden them to fabricate even greater distortions.

        As far as I’m concerned, anything that discredits NOM is a good thing.

        NOM already has an advantage by staging their tour and watchng us chase after them. Of course, they knew this would happen when they planned the tour. The only way to beat them at their own game is to outnumber them at their rallies, call them on their lies, and hold them responsible for their misrepresentations. The entire point of asking Brainless Brian Brownsuit questions is to beat him at his game.

        If that’s a “pissing contest,” so be it. I’ve got a lot of diet Coke.

        Reply
      • 11. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

        I think it is important that we get video recordings of all of NOM’s guest speakers. It will be valuable evidence.

        Reply
  • 12. Linda  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Hey Anthony–thanks for your good work. I’m from Fresno, too. *sigh*

    Reply
    • 13. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:38 am

      Hey there Linda!

      YA another Fresno native! I actually don’t think Fresno is that bad. People always tell me that there are better opportunities outside of Fresno, I always tell them if everyone escapes from Fresno who is going to make it better? So until I’ve made my mark on Fresno (and that hasn’t happened yet) I will stay in Fresno.

      Thanks for reading and thank you for your dedication to this movement.

      Ant

      Reply
  • 14. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Excellent idea. Hi Anthony.

    Subscribing.

    Reply
    • 15. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:26 am

      Oh, and hi Felyx. Hope you’re healing and feeling better.

      Reply
    • 16. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:39 am

      Yo yo sagesse!

      Reply
  • 17. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:50 am

    What a great idea! We sometimes forget that it takes a small army to engage the gNOMes the way CC/Tracker are doing. I had the pleasure of speaking briefly with Arisha during the Indpls stop. I look forward to ‘meeting’ the others involved as this series unfolds. Kudos to the intrepid Tracker Team and thanks to all who share thru their comments.

    Reply
  • 18. Alan E.  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Hello!

    Reply
  • 20. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

    So, Anthony, are you on this for the rest of the tour?

    Reply
    • 21. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:44 am

      RICHARD!

      Long time no talk! I will be in your neck of the woods soon. I am on the tour until the end and look forward to getting to meet you and your wonderful other half.

      Thank you for all your insightful feedback.

      Ant

      Reply
      • 22. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        You’re welcome. BTW, any chance of another Camp Courage, hopefully with better internet connections? I would really like to be a part of that, but right now, time and funds do not allow for a trip outside of our local area.

        Reply
      • 23. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm

        Richard,

        Let me check with the camp team and I will email you.

        =0)

        Reply
  • 24. Anonygrl  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Does anyone remember where that post of the fund raising email Brian sent to his folks is? I have been skimming through but can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
  • 25. Dave in Maine  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I can forward it to you if you’d like. My email address is under the “about me” tab on my blog!

    Dave

    Reply
  • 26. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Hi Anthony! Just wanted to say thank you very much for everything you are doing out there. Please know that we all appreciate it. Thanks!!

    Reply
    • 27. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:50 am

      Dpeck,

      Thank you very much for the very warm welcome, but no thanks is needed. This is where I feel I need to be and would do it again a million times over.

      Thanks for commenting on my interview!

      Ant

      Reply
    • 28. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

      Dpeck This is actually in response to your comment further down the thread but there was no little blue “reply’ on that comment. # 36 I believe. So I’m piggy backing on this comment.
      Any way to the point.
      OMG I can’t believe you quoted Ida Slapter!!!!! From the “Dirty Bitches” at Blue Chairs in PV!!
      I dont think she is there anymore but the Dirty Bitches are.
      Myself and my husband have been going to Blue Chairs Beach Resort for, going on seven years now.Big fans! We are going in Dec. Small world huh?

      Reply
  • 29. Eden James  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Hope you all enjoyed Adam’s interview with Anthony. But I do need to correct the record on one of my many personal organizing cliches:

    Incorrect: “If it’s not written down, it never happened.”

    Correct: “If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist.”

    Whch is why I am writing this correction. ;-)

    Hope all of you wonderful Trackers enjoy your Saturday. On Sunday, the tour resumes again in Des Moines, Iowa!

    Reply
  • 32. Kathleen  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Trying to subscribe, again!

    Reply
  • 33. Tina  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Um…Did I miss the part about what product Anthony uses?

    Found this on the NOM site and thought I would share: “These groups – including Freedom to Marry, Equality California and prominent gay bloggers – are attempting to use this false claim as a way to divert attention from organized harassment of supporters of marriage, and for raising money and building their lists.”

    <3 "prominent gay bloggers"

    Reply
    • 34. Sagesse  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:12 am

      “prominent gay bloggers” with cameras and video recorders :).

      Reply
    • 35. adambink  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:21 am

      True. That product shall remain a mystery.

      Reply
      • 36. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:34 am

        Especially because I have it on good authority that what works for one person may not work for someone else. It is always best to buy the sample sizes at the supply house and try them on a rotating basis to find out which one works best for your hair based on volume and texture.

        Reply
      • 37. Dpeck  |  July 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm

        …. and remember, in the words of drag queen Ida Slapter, “The higher the hair, the closer to God, honey!”.

        Reply
    • 38. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:58 am

      LOL!!! I use bedhead products. But being out on the road I’ve ran out =0( so please don’t tell my stylist and BFF Juan that I’m using Dove products.

      Well the NOMers on the tour refer to us as “the stalkers from California,” but I renamed that term as “the bull shit catchers from California.” Soon I am going to need some rubber boots!

      Thanks for the comment on my interview =0)

      Ant

      Reply
      • 39. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        Anthony, I can probably have some bedhead waiting for you here. Just email me with which ones you need.

        Reply
      • 40. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm

        OMG Richard you’re the best! But you really don’t have to. I was told I should down gay my hair so I don’t stick out so much lol

        Reply
  • 41. Anonygrl  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Sorry in advance for a VERY long post… it is in direct response to the post on NOM Blog today… and I tried to use their wording and rhetoric… check out their press release before reading the response if you will… Nom’s press release

    A RESPONSE TO NOM’S PRESS RELEASE OF 7/31 ON THE NOM BLOG

    The LGBT community has always condemned the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for intentionally attempting to mislead NOM supporters and the media about the Equality movement and their reactions to NOM’s discriminatory preaching. The following statement may be attributed to Vienna Hagen, a citizen of the United States of America:

    It is becoming clear that the National Organization for Marriage is attempting to coordinate a message they know to be false, that the LGBT movement is violent and intolerant of NOM’s spreading of lies about same sex marriage. NOM, on behalf of the other, larger groups that provide its financial backing but wish to hide their anti-gay attitudes behind NOM, is attempting to use these false claims as a way to divert attention from their own message of bigotry (that homosexuals are second class citizens and do not deserve equality in marriage and many other areas) and for raising money, see attached fundraising letter from NOM to their supporters, appendix 1, and building their lists. It is unconscionable that they would deliberately misrepresent our views and scare their own followers just to raise money for themselves. It is similarly unconscionable that they would accuse us of this tactic when, in fact, it is one that they are using and have been for the entire tour, once again, see appendix 1. Moreover, the repeated playing of the victim card by NOM leadership is beginning to sound very much like the boy who cried wolf, save that, in the end, a wolf has never appeared.

    NOM is showing a video cobbled together from a few, isolated incidents, of protesters at NOM rallies exercising their right to free speech. In one case, a pair of passionate people approached a podium and did yell at the speaker. NOM has categorized this as “Protesters violently storm the stage!” In another, a gentleman at a silent protest in Albany brought a pair of elderly black labs, some of the sweetest dogs ever, to the park with him. NOM’s take was that “Protesters bring violent attack dogs to disrupt pro-marriage event!” At one event, a protester inadvertently ended up inside the barricades (that NOM has illegally erected in public places at many of their events) and decided to make the best of it. She started shaking hands with people and introducing herself as homosexual. One NOM supporter grew violent and grabbed her. She attempted to get him to let go, and was arrested in the process. NOM said “Protester tries to incite others storm the stage!”.

    A sign was brought to a NOM rally indicating that the solution to the gay marriage issue was to hang gay couples. NOM has disclaimed this sign saying “We told the individual to take down his sign because it is wrong and not reflective of NOM’s aims, methods and message: we come together in love to support marriage as one man and one woman.” Unfortunately for them, a video interview of the man who was carrying the sign also shows two NOM supporters, neither of whom seemed to have any problem with the sign, one of whom simply advised the man to ‘not say anything inflammatory’, and seemed perfectly happy to accept the man’s response ‘I am on your side!'” The issue here is not that NOM itself endorses this sign, really, but that their supporters do. As such, it certainly behooved them to say “We told him not to” after the fact, but the publicity of the man holding the sign does encourage some of NOM’s donor base that NOM holds these beliefs, even while denying them in public. That NOM is using this incident to claim they are the victims, when, in fact, this was a supporter of theirs is almost inconceivable, but they are doing so. And if NOM doesn’t realize that, no matter what they claim to be the case, this sign is exactly what their supporters do with the message they take away from NOM’s activities, then they need to carefully and seriously reconsider everything they are doing.

    Over the course of our lives, the LGBT community has consistently been bullied, harassed, attacked, beaten, denied our rights, and killed by homophobes. There is extensive documentation in videos of their rallies and interviews with their leadership that NOM wishes to continue this trend, both through their obvious outward aim of preventing us from equal treatment under the law in the marriage issue, and many related areas such as adoption, insurance, medical proxies, wills and so on for which marriage would provide us protection, and through the speakers they put forth at their rallies: speakers who say that homosexual sex is abusive, who say that homosexuality is a sin, and who push the false analogy that homosexuality is somehow equated to pedophilia. NOM even lies about the ability of same sex couples to parent, knowing that reputable, peer reviewed studies prove them wrong, time and again.

    NOM’s position on discrimination and intolerance is clear. They believe that they alone have the right to express their views, and work to find ways to silence the LGBT community, both through false claims that our legal, legitimate protesting is “intolerant” when, in fact, it is merely loud, and by warping the facts of how actual events occur to make them seem violent such as the supposed “kidnapping threat” was a sarcastic comment on claims made by the homophobic supporters of the anti-gay movement who constantly make remarks about how “the gays want to kidnap and brainwash our children”. They also, through the even simpler expedient of deleting the many well thought out, intelligent and erudite attempts to hold a dialogue that we post in the comments of their blog, do their best to insure none of their supporters realize we are not demons in human skins, we are merely people, like them, who wish to be allowed to live our lives, like them, while consistently ignoring our invitations to join the dialogue on our side, lest someone discover that their anti-gay rhetoric has no merit.

    To schedule an interview with any of a large and growing number of smart, thoughtful people who agree that equality under the law means equality for everyone, come to http://prop8trialtracker.com/ and speak to… well, anyone, actually. Post your questions, thoughts, comments. Even if we disagree, we welcome them, as they further the dialogue.

    Appendix 1 – Brian Brown’s email blitz to supporters, asking for money. Note that the entire message never once talks about the work NOM is supposedly trying to do.

    By now, you’ve heard all about the incredible display of intolerance from supporters of gay marriage.
    They’ve come to our peaceful marriage rallies in city after city to harass and intimidate us. We’ve seen men harass a nursing mother, refusing her request to feed her children in private and instead stare at her and block her ability to watch our rally from a safe distance. We’ve seen protestors draped in the rainbow flag storm the stage and scream, red-faced into the microphone to prevent our speakers from talking. We’ve seen them bait a five year old child, asking her if she’s being raised by her mother to be a bigot. We’ve even heard a gay marriage supporter threaten to kidnap a child in attendance at a rally.
    I thought I had heard and seen it all, but the radicals reached a new low yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin. NOM and its supporters gathered peacefully in Madison to pray for marriage and to stand in support of marriage remaining a sacred union between men and women.
    We were honored to have Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison address the crowd. Bishop Morlino spoke of the need to love one another even as we disagree on the issue of same-sex marriage. Yet when he led the crowd in the Lord’s Prayer, the gay marriage radicals screamed and booed him.
    Watch the video here.
    This is the face of intolerance. Isn’t it something when people who so loudly demand tolerance from everybody else, show such intolerance for those who simply wish to pray to God for the preservation of His sacred institution?
    The NOM Summer for Marriage Tour started out as a simple exercise to bring together supporters of marriage across the country to rally in support of an institution that we hold dear, something that has served society well since before there even was a society. And we’ve done that with hundreds of supporters across the country joining our tour, and tens of thousands joining our bus tour online.
    But something else has happened along the way — the people of America are seeing for the first time with their own eyes how radical our opponents truly are. These people who scream at our supporters, mock priests, taunt children and boo the Lord’s Prayer are the very same people who, with a straight face, promise that they would never force their values on us if America would only legalize gay marriage.
    Their lies have been laid bare for the world to see. And the world is watching it backfire on them. Last week alone, over 1.3 million people read about the gay radicals on Facebook. Millions more watched news reports and read about their antics in various news publications. Today in St. Paul, we had one of our largest rallies to date, with between 200 and 250 supporters coming out to stand for marriage. And rather than the protests dampening turnout, I’ve lost count how many people have come up to me to say that they came to the rally because they saw the videos of the protestors and are more determined than ever to stand up for marriage.
    To say that the display of anger and intolerance has been a public relations disaster for the gay marriage movement is the understatement of the century. That’s why two gay marriage groups yesterday attempted embarrassing efforts at “spin control” to try to deflect the public’s attention away from what is happening at the marriage rallies.
    Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement claiming the Summer for Marriage tour was an elaborate stunt designed to draw “lawful protestors” who are wrongly being portrayed by “made-up stories of as harassment.” Their problem, of course, is the video evidence that we have of screaming gay marriage radicals storming the podium and harassing nursing mothers and booing a Catholic Bishop leading a group in the Lord’s Prayer.
    Do these look like “made up stories of harassment” to you? Unfortunately for the Human Rights Campaign, these are the faces of what the future will look like for anyone who opposes same-sex marriage. Groups like HRC and their supporters will use the full force of the law — lawsuits, legislation, regulations and even public intimidation and harassment — to force their vision and values on the American people. This is becoming more and more clear to America with every passing tour stop.
    The group “Freedom to Marry” issued their own statement yesterday, but they apparently forgot to coordinate their message of the day with HRC. Instead of accusing us of “made up stories of harassment” this group showed a repulsive picture of someone whose sign featured a noose, implying that homosexuals should be put to death. They went on to “demand” that NOM repudiate this “incitement to violence.” We’d treat this call seriously if it weren’t such a contrived stunt.
    First of all, NOM has already repudiated this display of intolerance — and did so on the spot (not through a press release). We demanded this individual to take down his sign, because it was inconsistent with NOM’s aims, methods, and message: We come together in love to support marriage as one man and one woman.
    Second, at every rally we make it clear that our fight is not with gay Americans, it is with a bad idea. The Lord teaches us that we are to love all His children. We approach the issue of marriage from the perspective of love. You can watch video of NOM’s Chair, Maggie Gallagher, making this point here.
    Our opponents are becoming more and more desperate as they watch their carefully scripted narrative of same-sex marriage crumble before the eyes of the American people.
    We need your help to continue our successful Summer for Marriage tour and to continue to publicize this issue. If the tour is coming to a city near you, please come to show your support. We need all our supporters to rally around the cause, especially in these trying times. Visit http://www.marriagetour2010.com for all the latest tour information.
    We also need your financial help to continue the tour. This is a costly and difficult tour to organize and implement. We have to feed, house and transport staff and volunteers in nearly two-dozen cities — not to mention the cost of preparing, securing and keeping the bus and support vehicles on the road for the month-long tour. Please make a special contribution today to enable us to bear all the expenses of this historic tour.
    There’s no doubt that God is working a wondrous thing with the Summer for Marriage tour. We are changing hearts and minds across America. People are rallying to our side. Please keep us in your prayers, and remember us with a financial gift as well.
    May God bless you and your family.
    Faithfully,
    Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage
2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
bbrown@nationformarriage.org
Contributions or gifts to the National Organization for Marriage, a 501(c)(4) organization with QNC status, are not tax-deductible. The National Organization for Marriage does not accept contributions from business corporations, labor unions, foreign nationals, or federal contractors; however, it may accept contributions from federally registered political action committees. Donations may be used for political purposes such as supporting or opposing candidates. No funds will be earmarked or reserved for any political purpose.

    Reply
  • 42. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

    This just in via email from gNOMe’s B.S. Brown (yeah, B.S. are his real initials — ain’t that funny because it’s so true?).

    You remember — When Dr. Ken Howell, a Catholic professor who teaches Catholic thought at the University of Illinois, was abruptly fired for telling a student (when asked) that he agreed with Church teachings on sex and marriage, we asked you to FIGHT BACK!

    More than three thousand of you sent emails to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, urging them to right this wrong.

    I knew we were making a difference when some of you told me the President of the University had responded with the bizarre claim that Dr. Howell had not been fired… He just wouldn’t be permitted to teach religion any more.

    When you get that kind of weird hair-splitting PR response, you know the University is worried!

    Well this week, the University backed down and promised to reinstate Dr. Howell fully!

    Thank you! You fought back and you won!

    And kudos to the Alliance Defense Fund for this and all the good work they do.

    This is not the end of the story by any means. The University has yet to admit wrongdoing or offer an apology, and reserves the right to monitor and review Dr. Howell’s work (which may yet turn out to be code words for “we’ll try to find some excuse to fire him more quietly down the road”).

    But today, celebrate! The great purge of Christians and Christian thought from our universities has been halted in its tracks! Click here to send a message thanking the Board of Trustees for reinstating Dr. Howell.

    You fought back and you won! Congratulations!

    Semper fi,
    Brian S. Brown

    You can see the entire email as an image here.

    Reply
    • 43. Ronnie  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:36 am

      Brian Brown is such a f@#king sleazy liar. That professor sent that hate speech to the students personal email.

      Brian Brown you are Fascist Nazi Pig using propaganda, speculation, hearsay & a fallacious half truths to adjure your fellow anti-American sheeple into submission. You are disgusting. A complete repugnant, deplorable, waste of human life. Lying is a SIN Brainless Brown Suit. Check yourself before you wreck yourself….. > ( …Ronnie:

      http://www.towleroad.com/2010/07/school-fires-professor-for-personal-views-on-gays.html

      Reply
      • 44. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:49 am

        As I said previously Ronnie, nobody rocks derogotory descriptions like you. I am so thankful you are on our side :)

        Reply
      • 45. Ronnie  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        lol…SG…I can’t help it…can you think of any other way to describe BB’s very special brand of Bigotry? I am trying to cut down on the “no-no” words though… ; ) …anywho..I am thankful that you are on our side also…<3…Ronnie

        Reply
      • 46. Felyx  |  July 31, 2010 at 5:02 pm

        Good Lord Ronnie! When are going to stop playing nice and really tell Brian off!!

        LOL!

        Take note NOM… this is what you call true Righteous Indignation!

        (As opposed to Self-Righteous Instigation!)

        Felyx

        Reply
    • 47. Alan E.  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      I have to sorta agree with Brian on this one. It’s not hate speech, it’s stupid speech. PZ Myers (among many others) puts it very well as to why his email was not hate speech:

      http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/07/honesty_about_sex_is_going_to.php

      Reply
  • 48. Ronnie  |  July 31, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Hey Hey Hey….Anthony…nice to meet you

    <3…prominent Gay Ronnie…..wait what?!

    Reply
    • 49. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Hey Ronnie!!!

      Thanks for the comment on my interview! The other trackers don’t know it but I’m striving to have the most comments =0) gotta keep things exciting here on the road.

      Thanks,
      Ant

      Reply
  • 50. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    The words that jumped out at me from Anthony’s responses was his description of the counter protest in Madison Wisconsin. An overwhelming number of protesters compared to NOM’s attendees. Marching down the street and chanting…
    Gay Straight
    Black White
    Marriage is a Civil Right
    This is the perfect protest chant IMHO.
    I hope persons who are planning out future protests re-play that video. Look Anthony could barely film it, he was crying just like all of us who saw the video.
    And they didn’t shy away from the bigots, why should they? They surrounded them and looked them int he whites of their eyes.

    Yeah Anthony if you were crying filming it, rest assured we all cried watching your work product. We should not play by the rules that Brian Brown lays down. He does not own the debate, who said he gets to make the rules on how we should behave? Everyone, come out and protest and come out in force. Block NOM!!!! March down your streets make your voice heard. And a drumer adds a lot to the march.

    Reply
    • 51. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you so very much for your great comment. It means a lot to know that people enjoy the videos that I am doing. I had no experience in recording and editing video before the NOM Tour so this has definitely been a learning experience.

      Thank you for ur comment!

      Ant

      Reply
  • 52. James Tuttle  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Wow..its a small world. I saw the picture and was like “I know that guy!!..I think” and then saw he was from Fresno, as am I. I’ve seen him around town a lot, doing work with different gay organizations and am happy he represents us. =-)

    Reply
    • 53. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      James,

      It makes me so proud to see that there are fellow fresians reading and replying. I don’t know how we have never met? Well when I get back from the tour we are going to have to meet!

      Don’t worry I am reppin Fresno ;0)

      thanks for the comment.

      Ant

      Reply
      • 54. Straight Grandmother  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:08 pm

        I was wondering if your nickname was Tony, but I see it is Ant, very origional :)

        Reply
      • 55. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:29 pm

        Yeah Tony is my father so I go by Ant or Anthony. When I was younger my nick name was T.J. (Tony Jr. ) but I felt like I grew out of that after high school.

        You can always tell how long someone has known me or if they are family by if they adress me by T.J.

        Little more of a glimpse into my life =0)

        Reply
      • 56. Kathleen  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:35 pm

        Both my sons changed their names at one point in their lives – switching between a middle and first name. When talking to their friends, I can always tell who are the friends they’ve had from childhood by which name they use. Interestingly, I when I THINK of them, the name I think of them by, depends on whether the memory is from pre or post name change.

        … and adding another comment to Ant’s post! :)

        Reply
      • 57. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:54 pm

        Kathleen YOU ROCK! Lol

        For me when I finished High school and was entering work world I didn’t feel very “grown up” using TJ. So I guess my name change was one of those “time to grow up” moments.

        Reply
      • 58. Alan E.  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

        Nothing can be more embarrassing than parents’ nicknames for their kids. My mom would occasionally call me Allie because my initials are ALE. She would sometimes spin it into Alleycat, but both were cheek rougers in public.

        Ant, what nicknames did your parents call you?

        Reply
      • 59. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 2:05 pm

        Let’s see:
        little T
        T (cause TJ wasn’t short enough right?)
        Turkey (my grandma who has passed was the only one to call me turkey)

        Reply
      • 60. Kathleen  |  July 31, 2010 at 2:11 pm

        My father used to call me an ‘uppity broad’ but I don’t think it was meant as a term of endearment, so it might not count as a nick-name. :)

        Reply
  • 61. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I just wanted to add that if you live in a tour city I would love to meet you when we are in your town. Seeing all of the equaltiy supporters is like fuel and reminds me why it’s so important to be out here. Also, I would love to see some color! The NOMers only wear brown and khaki and my eyes are begging for some color!

    Ant

    Reply
  • 62. James Tuttle  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Anthony, I added you as a friend on Facebook and noticed you are friends with Tim and Juan Clark-Lucerno. They are also good friends of mine. Actually Tim and my parner Rodney are climbing half dome day after tomorrow. And we will for sure need to get together when the tour is over. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • 63. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      Accepted!

      I worked with Juan during meet in the middle, he’s a great guy and a great activist!

      Hopefully they are wearing sun screen! I hear it’s really hot in CA. We are almost into Iowa and I can already feel the humidity =0/

      Ant

      Reply
  • 64. JonT  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks Anthony for all the work you’ve done tracking the nomos. :)

    (Also, sub-scribbing)

    Reply
    • 65. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      HI JONT!

      Thanks for your comment. Again, no thanks needed! ;0)

      Thanks,
      Ant

      Reply
  • 66. Anna Bryan  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I thought there was a rally today in Des Moines. Neither NOM or trial tracker has written about it. Is it that much of a non event?

    Reply
    • 67. Kathleen  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      Anna, it’s tomorrow. Here’s their schedule. LOVE the tweets!
      http://www.marriagetour2010.com/tour/

      Reply
    • 68. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Anna,

      We are enroute to Des Moines now! The rally is tomorrow. NOM has changed some locations and times check on our main page for the changes.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Ant

      Reply
  • 69. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    This wouldn’t be a true NOM tour tracker post if we didn’t say hi to Louis (cause I know ur reading).

    Louis,

    I like the new hair cut but wonder why u had to mention that u had to go to a salon to have it do ne. Which leads me to question: would u have an issue if a homosexual were to cut ur hair?

    Smooches,
    Stalker #2 from California

    Reply
  • 70. James  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Anthony, I appreciate all that you are doing and just a note that I also am a HUGE KC fan!!! I’m rocking there with you buddy…

    Reply
    • 71. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      OMG LOVE KC! She is even better in person. I have seen her 3 times in person and each time was better than the last.

      Whats your absolute favorite song by KC?

      Reply
      • 72. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm

        My favorite Kelly Clarkson song is the one she has recorded twice, even though I have only heard the 2007 duet version with Reba–“Because of You.” I guess that is because of what I went through for so many years from those who wanted me to believe I was damaged in some way. It really hits home with me.

        Reply
      • 73. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 7:10 pm

        Richard,

        Thats a really powerful song. I sound like a broken record, but when I heard it in person I got goose bumps!

        Reply
      • 74. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:05 pm

        I can believe it. I get goosebumps from the CD.

        Reply
      • 75. James  |  July 31, 2010 at 8:47 pm

        Yup…saw her last December and got to meet her before the concert….Awesome! I love so many of her songs BOY, Be Still, Anytime, Gone, Hear Me, Already Gone….the list goes on. But oddly enough the one song I can listen to over and over is one she did on AI called Think Twice. Talk about vocals!!!!

        Reply
      • 76. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm

        James,

        My favorite song is “maybe.” I feel like she wrote it about me =0) I would LOVE to meet her! YOURE SOOOO LUCKY!

        Reply
      • 77. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        I also saw her in concert in December! It was December 2nd in my home town. “Maybe” wasn’t on the set list but someone asked her to sing it and I went crazy. BUT I must admit that my favorite of the concert was her “That I would be good/To use somebody” mash up. SIMPLY AMAZING….She also did a really small part of “Halo” and it would have made Beyonce get the goose bumps

        Reply
  • 78. Ray in MA  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Hey Antny,

    Go get ’em… keep up your hair and keep up all the good work you do.

    Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day!!!!

    Reply
    • 79. Ray in MA  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      Reply
      • 80. Anthony Ash  |  July 31, 2010 at 9:24 pm

        LMAO!!!!

        I LOVE IT!

        You just made my night. Thanks for your comment =0) What about you are you a Kelly Clarkson fan too?

        I’m trying to recruit KC fans lol

        Ant

        Reply
      • 81. Ray in MA  |  July 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm

        Sorry I’m an old fart when it comes to music… any chance you’re into Barbra Streisand?!?! LOL!

        Reply
      • 82. Anthony Ash  |  August 1, 2010 at 8:51 am

        I also like Barbara, but to be honest, when I hear her it makes me think of drag lol

        Reply
  • 83. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hello Anthony, nice to meet you. You know that what you and the rest of your team are doing, is so important to us here on the Trial(NOM) tracker! You are our eyes and ears!
    Thank You so much for your hard work.
    I’ll check out Kelly Clarkson. The name sounds familiar. Sounds like a country music artist name. Hope so, I’m a huge fan of Country Music. some people call me a bad gay for it but I dont care LOL
    Again thank you for your hard work and consider yourself ((hugged)).

    Reply
    • 84. Anthony Ash  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Hey Tim!

      OMG You havent heard of Kelly Clarkson!?!?! She isnt a country singer but she does a lot of covers that are country. She went on tour with Reba 2 years ago! Does that count?

      Thank you for your very warm thanks. It means a lot to us out here on the road to hear that people appreciate what we are doing.

      Well we are about to hit the road and head to the rally in Des Moines (Que song “on the road again”)

      Thanks for your comment!

      Ant

      Reply
    • 85. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Kelly won the first season of American Idol. And for those of us who are country fans, the reason we have heard of her in addition to that is because she and Reba have a cut on Reba’s “Duets” CD of Kelly’s hit “Because of You.”

      Reply
  • 86. Tim in Sonoma  |  August 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Oh, hello Brian and louis! Please quit making up stories. Louis what you wrote about those two men and THEIR child still gets my blood boiling! Shame on you !!
    And Brian I have a new slogin for you, What do you think?
    ” My name is Brian Brown, I’m not a victim but I play one on TV “. I think it fits you perfectly.

    Reply
  • 87. cna training  |  August 2, 2010 at 6:53 am

    nice post. thanks.

    Reply
  • […] our Meet the Trackers series (parts 1 and 2 with Anthony Ash and Danny Segura can be found here and here), today we’re talking with Arisha Michelle […]

    Reply
  • […] is our lead videographer on the ground, as profiled here. As the tour is coming to a close tomorrow, here’s his reflection piece. […]

    Reply
  • […] is our lead videographer on the ground, as profiled here. As the tour is coming to a close tomorrow, here’s his reflection piece. […]

    Reply

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