Guest post: National Organization for Marriage, What Are You Hiding?

October 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm 132 comments

By Evan Wolfson, Executive Director, Freedom to Marry

After historic rulings this summer challenging marriage discrimination in California and Massachusetts and two national polls showing majority support for the freedom to marry, Maggie Gallagher’s National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is scrambling.

Never much more than a shell-group to funnel massive amounts of money from concealed sources into important political battleground states, NOM’s declared budget has swelled from $500,000 to $10 million in just three years (not counting the role it played in battles such as Prop 8 in California and the assault on the freedom to marry in Maine). But NOM’s efforts to shovel no-questions-asked money into partisan and anti-gay campaigns in states such as Rhode Island, Iowa, California, New York, Minnesota, and Maine continue hitting one persistent barrier: the sunshine laws that protect voters by ensuring transparent elections.

NOM’s strategy to subvert campaign-finance disclosure and clean election laws is to unleash a wave of controversial lawsuits. Putting aside the irony of NOM turning to the courts to strike down laws that ensure a fair and clean election, given its pattern of complaining about so-called “activist” courts whenever judges strike down discrimination, NOM just doesn’t want to play by the rules.

NOM’s relentless efforts to shroud itself and its funders in a veil of secrecy is telling: If they really had a good case against the freedom to marry, why would they be so eager to hide what they’re doing and who’s behind it?

In Minnesota — where NOM has flooded the airwaves with a shameful ad that equates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s calls for universal equality to NOM’s agenda of exclusion — a court rebuffed NOM’s effort on September 20 to overturn the state’s campaign disclosure laws.

Last week, NOM began circulating direct-mail pieces attacking pro-marriage candidates in Maine, the same state where several NOM assaults on clean elections have failed and where the organization remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for its reckless disregard of campaign finance laws.

In rejecting NOM’s bid to undermine clean-election laws, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank of Minnesota said of NOM’s ploys:

The voting public has an interest in knowing who is speaking about a candidate… and knowing the sources of election-related spending. … Such transparency assures that the electorate will be able to make informed decisions and properly evaluate speakers and their messages. Invalidating the election laws at issue here would likely result in corporations [and organizations] making independent expenditures without any reporting or disclosure on the eve of the upcoming election.

Despite unambiguous rulings like these, NOM still refuses to abide by the rules that apply to everybody else. And in its frenzied run on the courts NOM characteristically conjures up thinly veiled claims that it is the victim — even as it works in state after state to strip away Constitutional rights from a vulnerable minority.

In mid-September, NOM filed a lawsuit against the New York Board of Elections, declaring its intent to once again funnel undisclosed sums of money into political campaigns in key battleground states. As an encore, NOM filed an almost identical lawsuit in Rhode Island five days later, where it will air a polarizing and patently untrue ad to distract from the reality that when committed couples join in marriage, families are helped and no one is harmed. NOM’s lawyers have been asked to refile its lawsuit because its effort to evade the rules applied to everyone else is ” disorganized, vague, and poorly constructed.”

As the midterms approach, the courts and election officials must prevent further efforts by NOM to subvert election laws, as well as the Constitution’s promise of equality and fairness. They can start by examining the facts compiled on a useful new website,, assembled by the Human Rights Campaign and Courage Campaign.

And we all must do our part, too. The antidote to NOM’s toxic rhetoric, anti-gay fear-mongering, and dangerous campaign tactics is what NOM fears most: open and honest conversations about why marriage matters to loving and committed same-sex couples. We must each engage the fair-minded people in our circles and help them along their journey toward support of the freedom to marry. As more and more people join Freedom to Marry on our Roadmap to Victory, we will continue exposing NOM’s falsehoods and, even more important, continue to shine the light on the truth that ending marriage discrimination helps families, while hurting no one.

Entry filed under: NOM Exposed, Right-wing.

My last day with P8TT: Reflections on the NOM tour, and what Dave Matthews might have to say about it NOM forced to pull Lynch ad; we’re forced to look up spelling of ‘schadenfreude’

132 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan E.  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm


    • 2. Ann S.  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm


    • 3. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm


      • 4. Ronnie  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm


  • 5. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    OH, NOM! Shed your little white hoods and become transparent!

    • 6. Rhie  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      now i am picturing maggie in a saran wrap dress….O.o

      • 7. elliom  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm


        I sense the beginnings of a John Waters film.

      • 8. elliom  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

        Maggie Gallagher plays Divine in…..My Life as a B Move Transvestite Slut

      • 9. elliom  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

        Pretty Pretty!

  • 10. Ann S.  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    BTW, when NOM talks about court cases they have won, where are those, exactly? I haven’t heard of any except as part of NOM’s talking points.

    Fantasy or reality?

    • 11. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      Didn’t Washington State say they didn’t have to disclose their donors, or something?

      • 12. Kathleen  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:29 pm

        You’re probably referring to Doe v. Reed. That case involves Washington state’s election law which require public disclosure of names of people who sign petitions to get measures on the ballot.

        The Supreme Court said the law is not unconstitutional, but that there might be some cases in which disclosure would not be required. They sent the case back to the district court to decide it the names on this particular petition must be disclosed. As far as I know, the district court hasn’t taken it up yet.

      • 13. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

        That’s it. Thanks Kathleen–as always, spot on.

  • 14. Kathleen  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    For anyone interested, you can read the complaint filed by NOM in Rhode Island and the ORDER dismissing (and giving NOM until today to amend) here:

    • 15. Alan E.  |  October 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      yeah…about that 93 page mess…

    • 16. Kathleen  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      I’ll run a docket query later tonight or early tomorrow and get the amended complaint, assuming they file one.

      • 17. Ann S.  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm

        Kathleen, either I am really missing something or they’re lying about winning a number of cases. I haven’t seen a single case reported that they’ve won. Am I missing something? Are they counting the discovery and televising issues in Walker’s court? They aren’t even parties to that case!

      • 18. Kathleen  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm

        Ann, I don’t know what they’re referring to. I also don’t recall any wins. I’ll try to track down the cases and dispositions later.

        In the meantime, here’s the amended complaint in the Rhode Island case:

      • 19. Kate  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm

        Hmmm, it’s still 70 pages. Doesn’t look as though they weren’t able to cut out very much of their fluff. This judge is not going to be pleased, me thinks.

      • 20. Ann S.  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm

        Thanks, Kathleen, you rock!!!

      • 21. JonT  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

        I’ll run a docket query later tonight or early tomorrow and get the amended complaint, assuming they file one.

        I love it when you talk dirty Kathleen :)

      • 22. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm

        I love it when you talk about other people talking dirty, JonT.

      • 23. JonT  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm

        X’S and O’s Elizabeth :)

      • 24. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm

        ..and the TicTacToe talk is SO HOT!

      • 25. Phil L  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm

        LOL @ dirty talk.

        Docket queries get me all hot and bothered.

      • 26. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

        The tax return included in the complaint was interesting. Over $2 million in undifferentiated expenses out of a $2.9 overall income….yeah, I bet.

      • 27. Papa Foma  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

        I caught this phrase early on… “…NOM reasonable fears being in violation of the law…

        I know it is completely out of context but I thought it was funny. The members of NOM may reasonably fear any number of things but the law does not seem to be one of them.

        Nommers are just a bunch of antidisestablishmentarianists!

  • 28. JonT  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Subscribing, and a question…

    I have heard many stories about NOM losing various court cases regarding their efforts to hide their income stream. But – what exactly is the penalty when they lose?

    Can they be fined? Legally shutdown? Board members arrested?

    Or can they continue to do what they’ve been doing, using their Holy Cash to file lawsuits and appeals forever (or at least for the next couple of elections)?

  • 29. Sagesse  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    It’s hard to hide with so many searchlights trained on them. Makes them real mad.

  • 30. Judy  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I want live video of the oral presentations to the Appeals Court. That would be classic.

  • 31. truthspew  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    And of course in RI Judge Mary Lisi called the NOM filing, to paraphrase, disorganized, and badly written. This should be fun!

    • 32. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      That activist judge is attacking them based on (bad writing about) their beliefs! NOM is the victim here!!!

  • 33. Sarah  |  October 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Since the weekend is coming, I’ll take those emails, please.

  • 34. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    You will LOSE Liberty Council…sorry, but you are on the wrong side of moral goodness!

    • 35. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      Azzholes with microphones.

  • 36. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Was Brian or Maggie in this audience?

    • 37. Felyx  |  October 8, 2010 at 3:52 am

      One out of THREE?!!! My how the numbers have changed over the years!!!

      Why aren’t the fundies patting themselves on the backs… they have somehow managed to reduce the population of homosexuals from 33% to 3%. Seems they ought to take false pride in this made up victory as any other.

  • 38. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Walmart Carrying Anti-Gay Book for Children

    A children’s book written by the wife of anti-gay Standard of Liberty president Stephen Graham is being carried by over 100 Walmart stores. Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today’s Stampeding Sexuality by Janice Barrett Graham was written to “help shed the clear light of truth on today’s dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles, the law of chastity, and the God-given sexual appetite,” according to Janice Graham in the book’s introduction.

    “The number of our young people involved in sexual sins has greatly increased in recent years. Some of the most stalwart-seeming youth find themselves involved in pornography, fornication, promiscuity, homosexuality, and the like,” Janice continued.

    The Grahams claim that their son, Andrew, successfully changed his sexual orientation and is now a happily married man.

    Andrew Graham wrote the book, Captain of My Soul, saying that he was “lured into same gender internet pornography during his high school years, and recruited into cursory homosexual experimentation with older men while at Brigham Young University.”

    Andrew says he is shedding light on the “deceitful and predatory nature of the ‘gay’ lifestyle.”


    • 39. RebeccaRGB  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      …dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles,…

      As a trans person, excuse me while I hurl…

    • 40. Dave P.  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

      This sounds like something that could deserve some follow-up. I checked Amazon for more info about the contents of the book and the one review there agrees that it is anti-LGBT. How about an email campaign to Walmart? Anybody have an idea of who to contact? Or maybe CC can send out an email with a link for signing a letter…

  • 41. Aaron  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    ok, IANAL, but many of you are….if they keep losing, how is it possible that they keep doing whatever they want???? doesn’t the Maine ruling, the Minnesota ruling, etc have any effect? can’t they be enjoined from acting until they comply???

    it seems weird that they go to court, lose, and still act as if they won with no consequneces.

    • 42. Kathleen  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      I don’t think any of these cases have gone through the complete appeals process. I might be remembering that incorrectly, but I think that’s what accounts for it. They’re still appealing and until then, the consequences of the losses have been stayed.

      • 43. Kate  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm

        Therefore, in NOMspeak, they have won those cases.

      • 44. Leo  |  October 8, 2010 at 6:34 am

        FWIW, here’s the status of Maine litigation as reported on

        On August 19, 2010, the district court rejected in large part plaintiffs’ new claims, but found that (1) the phrase “influence in any way” and the term “influence” in Maine’s campaign finance law are unconstitutionally vague, and (2) a regulation requiring disclosure of any independent expenditure over $250 within 24 hours is unconstitutionally burdensome. Plaintiffs and defendants appealed this decision on August 20, 2010 and September 2, 2010, respectively.

  • 45. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    The real enemies of marriage

    A recent survey revealed that 8 percent of men in the United States are gay and 7 percent of women are lesbians.

    That means that there are more than 23 million people in America who are being denied the basic human and legal right of marriage.

    More than 23 million people are being denied their pursuit of happiness. Opponents of same-sex
    marriage rally around phrases like “sanctity of marriage” and “family values.”

    They cling to the idea that gay marriage will sunder the moral landscape in this country and destroy the traditional family.

    It’s a scary thought, unless you look at other countries where same-sex marriage is allowed and note
    that such a thing has never happened.

    At first, there was no gay marriage. Then there was, and boys and girls still fell in love with each other, still raised families together and life moved forward with no real change.

    The exception, of course, was that the homosexual population was now allowed to partake in the rights in which heterosexuals had long taken for granted.


  • 46. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Anti-gay Ads Launched Amid String of LGBT Youth Suicides

    Catholic Latinos Support Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples

    NOM’s ad is based on the false premise that because the majority of Latinos identify as Catholic and Christian, they oppose civil marriage rights for same-sex couples by default. Yet we know that Catholic Latinos are among the most supportive groups of the freedom to marry. In fact, in July, the Public Religion Research Institute released poll findings that show 57 percent of Catholic Latinos are supportive of the right for same-sex couples to marry. Furthermore, the California Field Poll published in June also found that a majority of Latinos in California support the right for same-sex couples to marry. The misleading ad is not simply problematic because of the anti-gay messaging, but also because it attempts to scare Latinos away from supporting Senator Boxer by lying about her stance on immigration.


  • 47. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I am celebrating 30 years (this week) of togetherness with my partner/husband.

    For 30 years, I’ve been asking myself: Why do they hate us so much?

    THANK YOU ALL, for being around here, trying to resolve this question. All we can do is keep trying, and hope that humanity will prove itself worthy.

    We’re all in this together, while it gets better, and while we wait for it to be at it’s best.

    • 48. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm

      Many congrats to you and yours Ray. That made me smile!

      • 49. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

        Thanks LLB… life goes by in a flash… enjoy it with a ‘smile’, and always work to make it better.

    • 50. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      CONGRATES!!!! That is just wonderful!!
      Robert and I are at 27 1/2
      Don’t ya just hate it when someone says ” Wow that’s a long time for a gay couple!” UGH!!!
      I always tell them “That’s great for ANY couple gay or straight….gay’s aren’t the ones with the amazingly high divorce rate”

      • 51. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm

        Mark, it IS a long time for a gay couple!!! But is kinda rude to make a point of. We know only two other couples.

        Good for you, too… we get it… you know when you got it.

        Isn’t it amazing how fast time goes?

        My parent’s led a good example for me, still together 62 years and still smooching!

      • 52. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm

        (meant to say “two other couples together as long as us”!)

      • 53. Kathleen  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm

        My cousin is with the same man he’s been with since the mid-1960s.

      • 54. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm

        Inspirational, all of you. :)

  • 55. Bennett  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    What difference does it make to a shell non profit if it is flauting election laws. If there is any harm in their activities, then by the time the investigation and litigation is started, they have already compromised the election. Their choice for governor, or senator, or judge isnt going to be impeached because a shell non profit manipulated the electorate, won, and has no further objective. If the “national” “organization” “for” marriage was put out of business, would they, midge and bb, just pop up again with the support base intact as the “national” “organizationS” “for” marriage or the “association for the supremacy of straight persons” or some other such creation? Where is the teeth in these laws?

    • 56. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      That’s why we’re here…in our shoes, we can only expose them, and hope that people understand.

  • 57. DebbieC  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    What can we do to get NOM investigated? It sure sounds like an organization designed for money laundering. Can’t someone – the feds? – follow the cash? And what can we do to get the tax exempt status taken from the 501(c)3s that are supporting candidates. Why are they permitted to flaunt the law without penalty? Can arrests be made?

  • 58. Ray in MA  |  October 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Bullying… nothing new… and “tolerance” is not enough…

  • 59. Ronnie  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    OH YAY!!!!!!….ABC is developing a TV movie inspired by the amazingly brave Constance McMillen….<3…Ronnie

    ABC Family Developing Film With Craig Zadan And Neil Meron About Lesbian Teen Who Was Banned From Prom

    • 60. Rhie  |  October 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

      I sincerely but not very optimistically hope they get it right. I doubt it though. I have NEVER seen a tv show deal with trans, let alone the LGB at all well.

  • 61. Ronnie  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    In honor of our Transgender Brothers & Sisters…..Chaz says “It Gets Better”……<3…Ronnie

    the quote is via & video via YouTube:

    "Chaz Salvatore, son of superstar Cher and the late Sonny Bono, is the latest notable LGBT person to lend his voice to the "It Gets Better" campaign. In a new video, Salvatore tells viewers "there are communities of people just like you, willing to embrace you and support you and love you." He also says that he only came out as a transgender man a year and a half ago and even as an adult he was living with a secret and feeling weird. After coming out, he says " I feel great and found myself in a new community and embraced."

    • 62. fiona64  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

      You know, Chaz’ statement made me choke up. Seriously.

      Fiona (who remember Chaz as a tiny kid on the “Sonny and Cher” show and has watched in admiration at the person he turned out to be)

    • 63. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

      ditto Fiona! Supposedly, Liberal, Open-minded Cher was pretty critical of Chaz… Thanks for posting Ronnie

  • 64. Anonygrl  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    From the resubmitted NOM case in RI.

    44. Furthermore, the phrase “on behalf of or in opposition to” is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, so that NOM does not know what expenditures fall under the ban.

    It seems to me that expenditures that are made on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate would include… let’s see… how about expenditures that are made on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate. Does ANYONE not get what is meant by that? If you make an expenditure, and “R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-25-3(3) defines “expenditures” to include “all transfers of any “thing of value to or by any candidate, committee of a political party, or political action committee.”” that promotes any candidate, or is opposed to any candidate, that would be illegal. REALLY not much wiggle room there. You spend money (or transfer anything of value) to help get a candidate elected, or prevent one from being elected, you are required to be a PAC, and comply with RI law. You don’t follow the PAC rules, you are liable to fines and criminal penalties.

    And the cherry on this cake comes, for me, from NOMs own Articles of Incorporation which are included IN THE COURT DOCUMENTS.

    9. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of Statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. (emphasis mine, and, frankly, unnecessary, but fun)

    So basically NOM is arguing that Rhode Island should allow them to violate not only the law in RI, but their own articles of incorporation because NOM does not understand the phrase “on behalf of or in opposition to”, even though it appears in their own articles of incorporation.

    There really ought to be an internet meme for “I am sitting here going blink, blink in disbelief… raising one finger and starting to speak… then shaking my head, putting my finger back down, and going blink, blink in disbelief again.”

    Somebody, please, tell me I am missing something here…. there is some completely other meaning that has escaped me. PLEASE tell me that NOM is not stupid enough to claim they can’t figure out the meaning of their OWN ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION?

    • 65. Kate  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

      I sure hope the judge is as observant as you, Anonygrl. Terrific post!

      • 66. elliom  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm

        I think anonygrl should write an amicus pointing this out. :>

      • 67. Anonygrl  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

        It would be tough to be LESS observant… I skimmed the document very quickly… and that JUMPED out at me.

        Not to mention but that piece from NOM’s Articles of Incorporation seems to be completely ignored in most of their activities. The Votabus was participation in a political campaign on behalf of a candidate for public office. All their ads are too, either for or against…. so I am at a loss as to how they justify themselves when they can’t seem to follow their own rules.

      • 68. Anonygrl  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm

        I am tempted, elliom. If I had a week to do the research into the laws NOM references, I would. And I, as has been previously noted, am not a lawyer.

      • 69. elliom  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm

        As we’ve previously seen, you don’t have to be one to write an amicus. :>

      • 70. Anonygrl  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        True. But I refuse to write a bad one. :)

      • 71. elliom  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm

        Nice box of crayons and a big sheet of news print…could do @ least as good as some of theirs. :>

    • 72. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      I’m going to guess that, like Jamie McCourt, they never read them.

    • 73. JonT  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      PLEASE tell me that NOM is not stupid enough to claim they can’t figure out the meaning of their OWN ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION?

      Maybe that’s why brian/maggie could not join the votabust tour??

      You make a very interesting observation Anonygrl. I don’t know how to throw the proverbial ‘water’ on that particular fire.

      Without reading their Articles of Incorporation myself, that seems pretty damning.

      But – how long can they continue to ignore the orders of the various courts regarding disclosure… They seem to have no issue there… It seems there is no real ‘bite‘ to that ‘bark‘, if you’ll forgive the analogy…

      • 74. Anonygrl  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm

        The ONLY thing I can figure (and you should read the Articles of Incorporation… they are quite short) is that since they spend just under 50% of their finances on activities that look, for all the world, to be campaign related, they can say they are not committing a “substantial” part of the activities of the Corporation to that… but I have trouble thinking that over $2,000,000 is not substantial.

        Unless the legal definition of “substantial” IS “over 50%”, I would have trouble allowing them this loophole.

      • 75. alaneckert  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:24 pm

        Thing is substantial doesn’t automatically equal majority. You can have 49% go towards something and the rest split up into 2% segments, so 49% would still be substantial.

      • 76. Anonygrl  |  October 8, 2010 at 5:32 am

        That is probably it then… they spent (for instance) 10% on campaigning in Iowa, 10% on campaigning in Maine, 10% on campaigning in California…

        So although the TOTAL spent on campaigning is substantial, the individual pieces are not, so they say that none of it is substantial?

        Lawyers indeed!

    • 77. Phil L  |  October 8, 2010 at 1:54 am

      Uh… as soon as I read the “on behalf of or in opposition to” statement I knew IMMEDIATELY that it meant exactly what it says.

      How could NOM even feign confusion over such a statement?

      • 78. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 5:01 am

        How? Using a concept called: L A W Y E R S

      • 79. Ed Cortes  |  October 8, 2010 at 6:49 am

        nom DOES use lawyers. We have seen their abilities (or lack thereof) in many of the cases in which they have been involved! (And I checked the box!)

  • 80. E from Sarasota  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I know this article is not about marriage, but we have seen NOM use music (without permission) of various musicians. Now the little church in Kansas is doing the same thing. Ozzie is angry! More and more, our allies are standing up and saying, “Enough is enough!”

    • 81. fiona64  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:43 am

      Not a fan of his music, but I’m actually coming to admire Ozzy as a person.


  • 82. AndrewPDX  |  October 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Scribing… bring me more emails, please.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 83. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Good Morning everyone :) !

    Last night I attended a protest in downtown Salt Lake City in Response to senior Mormon Church Leader’s comments about how gays are “impure and unnatural”

    I posted took a few pictures with captions that can be viewed here(I hope! New at posting pictures, attempted to post with authorization to view if have this link):

    There was just a few days to organize the protest, crowd estimates of 2000 to as many as 4500 showed up (take that failed NOM tour!!!) Evidently no one was interested in NOMs messages of hate but many were DEFINITELY interested in standing up for our fallen teenagers at this event. On a side note, there was a “sister” protest event occurring simultaneously for those who didn’t feel comfortable attending an outdoor demonstration, a potluck dinner with activities to honor the suicide persons and give messages of hope for others. This was organized by the Pride Center and dear PFLAG persons.

    Me and my partner showed up about 1/2 hour early and the crowd was already enormous! We met in a small park area across the street East from Temple Square. The energy and LOVE from the crowd was ELECTRIC! “All colors of the Rainbow” showed up: all ages, genders, religions, non religious, families, pets, fabulous drag queens, conservative virgin return missionaries…we were all there!

    I took a few pictures and walked around arm in arm with my dear hubby, enjoying the beautiful evening and beautiful people. I few grumpy passersby threw out grumpy ignorant comments but we just ignored them. at 7p, Eric Ethington started speaking on a sound system so we all crowded close to hear:

    “We represent all colors of the rainbow tonight. We are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, black, white, latino, Mormon, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and atheist – but we all stand firm in one thing, stop destroying our children. And to the youth of the church: Never let anyone tell you that you need to be any different than who you are. There are thousands in this state alone who will love you and accept you. You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are!”

    I feel emotional reading the above text…This protest was about love, acceptance, caring, coming together, rejecting hate and bigotry. Eric thanked the AMAZING Salt Lake City police for assistance(they closed off the street for us, and treated all with quiet respect, thank you Salt Lake City Police and Mayor Becker!!) We then moved across the street and nearly wrapped all 7 Temple Square city blocks 2 times with our bodies lying down and sitting, most all wearing black. We sat for 45 mins in silence. Some honked horns in recognition and support. One man, clearly uneducated but passionate nonetheless drove around shouting “its not too late….you are all UNNATURAL, what you do is a SIN, Jesus hates you….you don’t see two BULLS DOING IT!” Some of protester shouted back “we love you! Jesus even loves ignorant assholes!” (for the record, I read 2 days ago that a breeder “destroyed” a prize bull because he refused to breed females…he only wanted to engage males)

    My hubby and I laid down with our heads together visiting about the protest, life, family, love, politics even the weather. A local newspaper lady found us sweet somehow and wanted to take our picture and interview us be we respectfully declined. I told her simply we are two return missionaries who disagree with Elder Packer’s remarks. She wished us well.

    Having this experience underlines how we are NOT alone and IT DOES GET BETTER!. Love and HUGS to all of you! Gregory


    • 84. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:30 am

      left off the ‘h”

    • 85. Anonygrl  |  October 8, 2010 at 9:21 am

      Thank you for the wonderful story! That sounds like it was a terrific evening, and it is really heartwarming to hear about it!

      Thanks for being there, and for sharing it here with us!

      Love you!

    • 86. Ann S.  |  October 8, 2010 at 9:28 am

      Thank you for the report and the pictures. It looks like a fabulous event! Hugs to you and your husband.

    • 87. AndrewPDX  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

      Awesome, Gregory!! Thanks for being there and reporting, and getting the pictures uploaded!

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

    • 88. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:12 am

      thx Everyone! Best wishes as you engage in your own individual or grand efforts!

    • 89. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

      Wow great pics and those posters are great, especially liked the last two posters. #11 is a quote by Dr. Seuss!

      • 90. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:40 am

        Hugs SBM :) I was wondering where the quote came from…thank you for informing! I love Dr. Seuss stories…Star Bellies is my FAVORITE. #12 sign took me by surprise but resonates what I have been feeling for a while and my hubby echoed since the day he got kicked out of the church with seemingly no compassion, just for being himself.

        I hope for the LDS people (even though I claim I don’t “give a damn”) that they will migrate back to pure love of Christ.

      • 91. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

        Well, eyes are going to be opened in our ward. My husband was just called as the High Priest leader (after spending over 20 years with the young men)……..he felt inspired to take the calling and told the Stake Pres, that he wouldn’t use it as a political mantle, but that he would use it as a mantle to open eyes and to share his compassion regarding our gay brothers and sisters. The response from our new Stake Pres. was that was fine and if anyone commented “outside the spirit” to tell him and he would personally intervene with that person. The Stake Pres also said that “it is an unfortunate thing that people need to be taught to be more Christian”. Too bad that doesn’t resonate all the w ay up.

      • 92. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:18 am

        wow! big jump from 20 yrs in Young Men! High Priests are notorious to be set in their ways! Glad to hear you have supportive Stake President. Best of luck to your husband in his new calling —

        I spent years in the primary mostly in music capacity…I love working with the children! Was a bit of shock to start working with adults again…my last calling was High Council, where my Stake president knew of my history, but eventually drew the line when I decided to have a gay partner ;)

      • 93. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:30 am

        p.s. as quoted in 8: a Mormon Proposition, “Mormon’s know how to get things done” (referring to how they tipped the balance in passing prop 8) ….Yes we do! (I expand this to Mormon’s…you and your husband and us ex-Mormons too!)

      • 94. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

        Yes, we DO know how to get things done, he he he!
        My husband was going to refuse the calling at first, and then he felt inspired solely because of our stance on prop8, etc that he was being called for this purpose and at this time to open eyes.
        I have always been with the children too: primary, nursery and cubscouts. Now ward chorister for 6 years! I found Nursery to be such a spiritual place (despite all the noise) because of the light in the children’s eyes and all their innocence. However, Primary songs still make me cry! I recited Carol Lynn Pearson’s song, “I’ll Walk With You” over the pulpit two weeks ago as part of a talk regarding the spirituality of music…..people were teary eyed…

    • 95. Dave P.  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Thanks Gregory! Well done!!

    • 96. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Outstanding Gregory!! Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us……truly beautiful!
      Big Hugs and much love!!

      • 97. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

        thanks Mark and everyone..

        I can’t help but compare this to the Vota NOM “tour” …what is the most striking to me as I mingled with and took photos of these beautiful people is they appear confident, radiant, open, caring, kind and much much more. The NOM folks will barely talk to us, do NOT have a welcoming aura about them. Because of this, we will succeed. The ball is rolling and gathering speed. Bless you all for your efforts! Every word, thought, deed contributes!

      • 98. Kate  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

        And HAPPY. Isn’t it just astonishing how we, a hated minority, can look so downright pleased to be who we are when we gather together??? The NOMbies I’ve seen in videos look so bitter, hateful and unhappy with their lives. Give me a century or two, and I may even start feeling pity for them.

      • 99. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

        LOL! (I love your comments…’a century or two…’)

  • 100. Kate  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Oh Gregory! I spent all night eagerly looking forward to your report that I knew you’d post this morning — what a beautiful, loving story. I have such wonderful images of you and your hubby from what you wrote. And all of this in SLC??? Beyond words. Thank you, Gregory. I love you.

    • 101. Kate  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:45 am

      I’m off now to enjoy your photos — kudos for posting them!

      • 102. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

        Love you 2 Kate! :D

      • 103. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:17 am

        Kate: did the pictures link work?

      • 104. Kate  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

        Yes — the link is fine. I love the signs!

    • 105. Kathleen  |  October 8, 2010 at 9:02 am

      Thank you for the great report and thank you for being there. Love and hugs to you and your husband.

    • 106. fiona64  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

      What Kate said — all of it. What a beautiful and meaningful event.


    • 107. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Thank you THANK YOU all you DEAR persons for your vigilance, knowledge and love! Life calls…signing off now for possibly rest of weekend, as on the weekend I have the privilege to be a dad and spend uninterrupted time with my dear hubby. WOOT!! ….Taking my 9 year old son on a date to see “Oliver!” tonight can’t wait!….and other activities for the girls…

      • 108. Elizabeth Oakes  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:27 pm

        So glad you went and thanks for the photos and reportage. It’s heartening to see so many people standing up and saying “NO” to Packer. Though I’d love to see someone do it personally…hell, I’d love to do it personally myself. :)

      • 109. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

        MMMMMMMAAAAHHHH Elizabeth! now THAT I would LOVE to see! (you addressing the leaders personally :)

  • 110. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    From a Massachuetts point of view, Utah and it’s Mormons appear to us as something from a different planet….

    It’s as if my internet has connected with another part of the universe, yet you appear to be members of the American continent.

    “High Priests” are more familiar to the East Coast as something from the future in Star Wars. You people are really strange to us!

    Having beliefs that people among you have a special connection to a God above and that they recognize rules and laws of a “Heaven” is beyond human comprehension. Your people must be so gullable!

    To follow leaders of a church who once believed that inter-racial marriage violates the laws of the after life is completely rediculous.

    To follow leaders of a church who once believed that a man can have as many wives as he wants life is completely rediculous.

    To follow leaders of a church who once believed that Black people are not human is completely rediculous.

    I’m sorry, but once bitten twice shy. Wake up to reality here on Earth.

    After given so many absurd beliefs endorsed by the leaders of the Mormon Church I cannot give anyone of the Mormom faith any credibitlity.

    I feel that anyone who posts here on the P8TT and follows the core beliefs or Mormon Church are TROLLS here.

    How can I trust someone who continues to believe in the Mormon faith after such assinine declarations of reality.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    I don’t care how big and beautiful your temples are, and I disdain how Mormons are able to accumultate so much money that they are able to enable their own welfare state…that’s an old political trick to appeal to the masses.

    Don’t be fooled.

    • 111. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      You know, Ray in MA, this post has really upset me. Do yqu also classify Catholics and others of religion who believe differently than you as TROLLS or just Mormons?

      Wondering just what the heck I have ever posted here to be in the same category as Melissa or George.

      Yours is the first post that has ever made me feel as if I should quit being a part of this community.

      Sheryl, Mormon Mother

      • 112. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm

        Sheryl, I for one would hate to see you go. You’re an inspiration to me, a good person, a strong ally, and a reminder that not all Christians espouse the hatred that has become all too familiar of late. Don’t let one rotten string of posts drive you away!

      • 113. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 9, 2010 at 12:22 am

        Thanks, Chris.

      • 114. JonT  |  October 9, 2010 at 1:01 am

        If I have a vote here Sheryl – you are certainly no troll.

        I have also from time to time been inclined to paint all religious people with one brush – incorrectly, as I have learned here and elsewhere.

        Stay strong.

      • 115. Sagesse  |  October 9, 2010 at 5:32 am

        The ‘enemy’ of equality and respect is (certain) organized religions and their leadership, not individual people of faith. It is the leaders who incite their followers to disrespect or do violence to the humanity of others, who mobilize money and voters to write their disrespect and violence into law.

      • 116. Kathleen  |  October 9, 2010 at 10:15 am

        Sheryl, I too welcome your participation here.

      • 117. Ann S.  |  October 9, 2010 at 10:57 am

        Sheryl, you have helped give me and many others here hope and perspective about the LDS church. You are a valued member here. Please keep participating.

        Remember you earned the coveted Excellent Use of Natural Camouflage badge. No one else here has that one yet. Stay and wear it with pride.

    • 118. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm

      Ray in MA, that’s quite a broad brush you’re wielding.

      • 119. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 9, 2010 at 12:28 am

        Thanks Chris, appreciate your post. It’s not the string of posts, it is being called a TROLL. If I feel inclined to defend the church against a post I will but I understand that people do not look kindly upon Mormons, even other Christians, don’t accept us as Christians. I feel that anyone can believe whatever they want (hey even those NOM people have the freedom to believe how they believe). It is when people expect others to conform to their beliefs that it becomes a problem.

        I’m sure that by tomorrow morning I will have a different perspective on being called a TROLL but tonight it bothers me.

        Again, Chris, thanks for your support.

        Sheryl, Mormon Mother

      • 120. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

        Sheryl, I knew what you were getting at, but I was up way past my bedtime and suffering through my own emotional hurt. You are no TROLL, you are a good person of faith. It is people like you, people like all of us here at P8TT who worship and see reason both at the same time, who will eventually fix religion. I hope. ;)

  • 121. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Harold B. Lee stated: “If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl Of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by the same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth.”

    The First Area General Conference for Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Spain of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Munich Germany, August 24-26, 1973,

    Ray in Ma: Time to forego.

    Inspred to post this by pics in the in the 10/08 Utah protest pix here.

  • 123. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    ‘I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use’ – Galileo

  • 124. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    How about some video coverage of the protest in Utah:

  • 125. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    more form QUEERTY:

    Shouldn’t they have alerted God instead, because only he knows how to deal with sinners?

  • 126. Ray in MA  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    And now I’ll politeily shut up after this:

    Utah’s overall suicide rate is the 10th highest in the nation. Unfortunately, it is the leading cause of death for Utah males ages 15 to 19, who die at a rate nearly double the national average.

    Deadly taboo: Youth suicide an epidemic that many in Utah prefer to ignore.

    2006: and STILL ignoring?

    • 127. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  October 9, 2010 at 6:48 am

      Good Morning Ray and Sheryl ! I’m walking out the door in a couple of minutes to attend a local conference run by people of all faiths including many Mormons specifically to figure out how to address the alarming (cannot think of an adequate adjective) suicides and hopelessness of Gay teens. I’ll give a full report of this activity too.

      Ray I was downtown with the 1000’s of people. It was not about calling Elder Packer a Troll (well some are calling him a dinosaur!) but it was many many people including MANY active Mormons calling FOUL! That kind of talk is NOT acceptable. We WILL NOT listen to hate words and not respond. There has been an amazing effort by local LGBT and MORMON leaders who do care. There are people striving to find answers, People working to change hearts. Elder Packer does NOT represent all Mormons.

      Me and my partner walked across the temple square grounds on the way to the march dressed all in black and very determined faces. We were greeted by Mormons on with kindness and openness.

      I do not subscribe to Mormon religion or any other religion. I find most every religion, social group, club have the own particular way of doing things. They all almost seem strange to me. Joseph Campbell has a WONDERFUL 5 part series about religious and social group practices called the “Power of Myth”. I was on a path to hating the Mormon church and telling all my family to quit going or they don’t love or support me…this serious avail on Netflix Instant watch literally saved my life. It helped me cope with my disappointment in the Mormon church and not paint my whole family with the same broad brush of being anti -gay.

      I love you Sheryl, Love you Ray…I’ll post my report tomorrow, we are all working together to find ways to cope with our differences..

      • 128. Rhie  |  October 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm

        That’s awesome and I am looking forward to your report. I also love the work of Joseph Campbell.

  • 129. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    So, Ray in MA, because Santa Barbara Mom and I still believe in our religion you consider us TROLLS?

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

    • 130. Kate  |  October 9, 2010 at 8:16 am

      Ray, as an agnostic, I have learned something exceedingly valuable at this site — that there are people here who believe in their chosen religions without believing in the hatred that so many of those same religions spew. That has been a huge gift to me.

  • 131. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 9, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Thank you Gregory, Kate, and Chris.

    Wish I could say a good night’s sleep improved my mood but our power went out and as I have sleep apnea, not much rest without the machine. However, I’m not as upset as I was. If Ray in MA wants to consider me a TROLL, so be it. He can simply not read what I post.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

    • 132. Kate  |  October 9, 2010 at 11:14 am

      I am SO glad you’re not going to leave us!!!!!


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