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A theme of NOM's recent blog posts has been that the marriage equality movement is not about "tolerance", but "tyranny". This statement is featured in their video about their "March For (Straight) Marriage".

On Tuesday, they posted this under the headline "The Thought Police Have Arrived":

The movement to redefine marriage was once said to be about "tolerance and acceptance." Today it is about tyranny.
But considering what they have considered tyranny in the past, I believe that they have no credibility when discussing what tyranny is.

July 2010

This was the time of NOM's "Summer for (Straight) Marriage" tour. On Saturday, July 17, they held a rally in Albany.

Their report on the weekend of July 17-18 from July 20 included the Albany rally. They said:

It started Saturday in Albany. Those following our Twitter feed (follow us!) may have already seen my comments: “Silliest. Protest. Ever.” was how I described the pictures on Saturday. Right in the middle of a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, a bunch of people with umbrellas started walking up on stage. I told them we had a permit for the space, but they refused to leave. Shortly, the Capitol police came out and said to the protestors -- You know that the marriage tour has a permit here . . . you should leave. But still they hung around, holding their rainbow-colored umbrellas and balloons.
They then included these photos of the counter protest:
About the protest, NOM said:
I had to smile . . . certain that the protestors just don’t realize how badly their militancy comes off looking when they crash someone else’s rally. The American people know the value of playing fair. This was our rally in support of marriage. Let them have their own rally -- to each his own -- but what’s to be gained by making a spectacle at someone else’s rally? All it did was raise the profile of our event and show them to be the intolerant bunch they are.
Uhhh... what? That was the most passive protest I've ever seen. Standing still, apparently not making noise, and not doing anything but holding an umbrella or a balloon. According to NOM, it's intolerant militancy to hold an umbrella or a balloon at a counter-protest.

Next is the story of a woman who was facing some protesters who were standing still, holding umbrellas. She asked them to turn around so she could breastfeed. Most didn't. Cue NOM:

This was made crystal clear in their behavior to a Hispanic woman who had brought her family out to the rally with a picnic lunch. During the rally she moved to the back to nurse her baby. A bunch of male protestors followed her with their rainbow umbrellas and stood directly in front of her, blocking her view of the stage. She asked them to move, or at least turn around while she fed her baby, and they refused. Classy.
First of all, they don't owe her anything, including turning around. Secondly, if she wants to breastfeed, I don't have a problem, but if she's the one doing it, then it's up to her to put herself in a comfortable spot. Thirdly, even if you think that they shouldn't have turned around, there is no link to marriage equality here. Even if you think they were wrong, what they did was in response to (or not in response to) breastfeeding, not marriage equality.

Now they move on to the Sunday, July 18 protest in Providence, Rhode Island. The emphasis is added except for the first sentence:

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

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

That lasted about 5 minutes.

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

The part I bolded there was "as Capitol police did nothing." You know why, NOM? Because the protesters didn't do anything wrong. They were within their rights to yell at you. No one was arrested. Apparently, when the police requested something from them, they complied, because, by your own admission, order was restored.

Brian, if you ever want to yell at one of our rallies, go right ahead. It's your right. I don't like it. But it doesn't mean you can't do it.

They included this photo:

Throughout the event, the protestors were disgraceful. Mocking religion. Mocking children. I mean, what kind of adult goes up to a 7-year-old child and sneers, “Mommy raising you to be a good little bigot?”
A very silly one, I'll admit. There was also one comment at a rally of "you'd better watch that kid or we're gonna kidnap him". That's very wrong. But even with that in mind, that's only two people. According to the NOM Tour Tracker, there were 175 protesters in Providence. 2 divided by 175 is 1.14%. So 98.86% of the protesters were fine.

They then put in this picture:

Those photos, and the previous photo, depict nothing more than the yelling that might be expected when two opposing political rallies meet. It's tense. But it's not violent. It's still peaceful. One thing that concerns me a little bit is that others might think that they have crossed a line, and it could potentially be not a great move strategically. But ethically, there was no problem.

At the end, we get an insight into their belief about what we shouldn't do (emphasis original):

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

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

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

NOM, in your own words, you are "more determined than ever", "newly galvanized in [your] commitment" and "growing". It sounds like we haven't intimidated you at all. As for your other complaints of being shouted down and called bigots: that's free speech. You can dish it out, but you cannot take it. Calling you bigots shouldn't be outrageous. You insult us all the time, as is your right.

In Providence, we got an idea of how thin their skin is. In Madison, it only got better.

Their rally in Madison was held on Wednesday, July 28. Their report on the rally was published a day later. It opens with:

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.

Like I said, you don't sound very intimidated.
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.
That's not harassment.
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.
The police did not stop them. It was thus acceptable.
We've seen them bait a five year old child, asking her if she's being raised by her mother to be a bigot.
Fair enough. That goes too far.
We've even heard a gay marriage supporter threaten to kidnap a child in attendance at a rally.
Fair enough. That goes too far.

The emphasis here is original:

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.

Firstly, I watched the video, and it was good of the Bishop to say what he said. It was a peaceful message. But if you watch the video, you'll see that NOM has seriously exaggerated what happened. The protesters chanted "Hey hey, ho ho, homophobia's got to go" and "get your hate out of our state" during the prayer. Hardly screaming and definitely not booing.

The other thing that I realized is that the video has been doctored to make the protesters look bad, and it's hilariously obvious. At 0:57, the camera cuts from the Bishop to the pro-gay protesters. But the prayer and the chants continue uninterrupted. NOM obviously extracted the audio and the chants and overlayed it onto the video of the protesters. They obviously felt the need to do that to make our side look bad.

The emphasis is original:

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?
NOM, the protesters were tolerant. They did not stop the bishop from praying. They just spoke at the same time he did. They let him do what he wanted.

The other thing is that you labelled this a "new low". If you seriously think that chanting at the same time as a bishop speaks is worse than threats to kidnap a child, then you are obviously not a reliable authority about tolerance and tyranny.

NOM used their "Summer for Marriage (Discrimination) Tour" to try and convict us of intolerance and militancy. According to the NOM Tour Tracker, a total of 3,419 people attended counter, pro-equality protests. I saw two examples of unacceptable behavior in the entire tour. 3,419 minus 2 leaves 3,417 well-behaved protesters. 3,417/3,419 is 99.94%. That many protesters were well behaved. Way to generalize, NOM.

One final note: NOM's own words can be used to acquit the pro-equality protesters. As marriage equality approached in Hawaii last August, they put out this statement:

We cannot remain "relatively silent" and expect marriage to be preserved against this latest attack. That means it's important to consolidate our voices and speak truth to power together. So, please, after you've taken action today, forward this email to your family and friends, and share it on Facebook and Twitter so that the loudest voice heard in Honolulu is yours!
I've got news for you NOM: That's what the protesters in Albany, Providence and Madison were doing. It's their right to yell at your rallies. It's your right to yell at ours. Calling it "intolerance" and "militancy" is hilarious inaccurate.

May 17, 2011

Minnesota's legislature was about to pass their marriage discrimination amendment. The legislators in opposition explained why they opposed it like this:

Sen Dibble: Angry, divisive campaign to denigrate gays will send message to MN schools that it's OK to bully.

Sen Pappas reads letter from German Jew comparing anti-gay marriage amend[ment] to Nazi revok[ing] of citizenship

Sen Harrington: I'm not comfortable using Leviticus to legislate since it also says slavery is OK.

Sen Goodwin: Think about how different Christianity would be if Jesus ask crowd to vote on stoning Mary Magdalene.

Sen. Berglin: At one point law said women were property of men when they got married. She's glad that was not put in [the] Constitution.

Cue NOM:
So, to review, in the combined opinion of the Senators mentioned above, people who believe Minnesotans should be able to vote on the definition of marriage are pro-bullying, Nazi-inspired, slavery-sympathetic, pro-stoning, anti-woman, and (of course) anti-gay bigots.
Wrong. Saying that the amendment will put LGBT youth at risk of bullying does not equate to "amendment supporters want them bullied". Saying that Leviticus is not a good authority on which to legislate because of its support for slavery does not equate to "amendment supporters support slavery". Saying that other policy areas would never be put to a vote is used to explain that there are limits on what should be voted on, not to say that "amendment supporters support those policies". As for the letter, the context and actual words spoken are missing, so I can't make a judgement on that.

This is just another example of misplaced outrage stemming from misinterpretation.

August 24, 2012

Chick-fil-A was facing boycotts over its opposition to marriage equality and donations to anti-LGBT organizations. In spite of NOM's own participation in boycotts, here's what they thought of it (emphasis added):

ACTION NEEDED: Chick-fil-A Under Attack!

Let’s be clear about something: the homosexual lobby and their puppet politicians’ assault on Chick-fil-A is just the beginning.

You see, wealthy homosexual activists, such as the so-called Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, are not merely threatening, bullying, and attempting to destroy a great American business—they are declaring war on anyone who disagrees with their radical agenda.

And why? To bully and intimidate the media and enough politicians and activist judges to force homosexual marriage as the law of the land—thereby destroying the time-tested, God ordained, traditional institution of marriage.

This is unacceptable. It’s time to send a crystal-clear message to the gay activist bullies who want to silence Christians and people of faith who stand up for marriage in America.

While others have backed down to gay “marriage” thugs and bullies, NOM isn’t afraid of a fight. But we can’t sustain this battle unless our supporters step up their urgently needed contributions right now.

Remember: the only way to stop a bully is to fight back and fight harder. And if you make an immediate contribution, NOM will continue to expose and defeat the gay activist bullies who want to silence Christians and impose homosexual “marriage” on all of us.

PS — The homosexual lobby’s assault on Chick-fil-A is a full-frontal assault on all of us who believe in the historic definition of marriage as one man and one woman. And the only way to stop a bully is to fight back and fight harder.

Earth to NOM: It's a freakin boycott, for God's sake! It's not a war. Do you see yourself as "threatening, bullying and attempting to destroy", "declaring war on", "bully[ing] and intimidat[ing]" Starbucks and General Mills?

The other thing to note is that this email was sent on August 24, 2012, just nine days after the FRC shooting. In light of the unacceptable violence that had so recently occurred, using this violent rhetoric over nothing more than a boycott was quite irresponsible.

November 6, 2012

Sometime during the night of November 5 or the morning of November 6, 2012, a church in Maine was vandalized for opposing Question 1. It was absolutely the wrong thing to do by whoever did it. But even for a serious case of vandalism, NOM's reaction was hysterical:

Take another look at that vandalized church. If you have not done everything in your power to get out the vote in these key states—or if you have not voted yourself—you are allowing this to occur, not just in Maine, but throughout the country.
So unless you actively fight against marriage equality, you are responsible for churches being vandalized. Right.

September 9, 2013

Two days earlier, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd lost Australia's federal election, which NOM erroneously attributed to his support for marriage equality. In the week of the election, he appeared on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Q & A program, and was asked by a Christian opponent of same-sex marriage about his support for it despite being a Christian. You can watch it here. The transcript is below.

Pastor: I'm a pastor of a local church, and work for a national Christian radio network. Most of the listeners and callers we've had on our radio station have been saying that they won't be voting for you because they're disillusioned because you seem to keep chopping and changing your beliefs, just - just to get a popular vote, with regards to things like marriage. Why should we vote for you?

Rudd: Well on the question of marriage equality, you're right. I took a position, about, I think three, four, five months ago, well before coming back to the Prime Ministership, because I concluded in my conscience, through an informed conscience, and a Christian conscience, it was the right thing to do. And let me tell you why.

Number one: I do not believe that people, when they are born, choose their sexuality. They are gay if they are born gay. You don't decide at some later stage in life to be one thing or the other. It is - it is how people are built, and therefore, the idea that this is somehow an abnormal condition is just wrong. I don't get that. I think that it's just a completely ill-founded view.

Secondly, if you accept that it is natural and normal for someone to be gay, because that's the way they are, then it follows from that that I don't think it is right to say that if these two folk here, who are in love with each other, and are of the same gender, should be denied the opportunity for legal recognition of the duration of their relationship by having marriage equality. If you accept that - if your starting point is that homosexuality is abnormal, I don't know if that's your view.

Tony Jones, host: Well, we can go back.

Rudd: Well, I just need to know.

Jones: We will go back to our question just -

Rudd: I just need to know.

Jones: - quickly to ask, what it is that you believe Christians in particular are upset about.

Pastor: I think the - I think the thing is that, you know, every pastor, we - we do marriages between husbands and wives. And, you know, Jesus said, a man shall leave his father and mother and be married, and that's the biblical definition. I just believe in what the Bible says, and I'm just curious for you, Kevin, if you call yourself a Christian, why don't you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible.

Jones: Thank you.

Rudd: Well mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition.

(wild audience cheering and applause)

Rudd: Because St. Paul said in the New Testament, slaves be obedient to your masters. And therefore, we should have all fought for the Confederacy in the U.S. civil war. I mean, for goodness sake. The human condition, and social conditions, change. What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? It is one of universal love, loving your fellow man. And if we get obsessed with a particular definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we're missing the centrality of what the Gospel, whether you call it a social Gospel, a personal Gospel, or a spiritual Gospel, is all about. And therefore, I go back to my question: If you think that homosexuality is an unnatural condition, then frankly, I cannot agree with you based on any element of the science. And therefore, if a person's sexuality is as they are made, then you've got to ask the second question: should therefore, their loving relationships be legally recognized? And the conclusion I've reached is that they should.

And on the question of chopping and changing, I wrote a two or three thousand essay - two or three thousand word essay, stuck it online, months and months and months ago before returning to the Prime Ministership, so everyone would know why I had changed my position, the reasons for it, and it was the product of many many months and years of reflection, in good, Christian, conscience.

So clear, but still respectful. So unapologetic, but still polite. Brilliant arguments, but no yelling or insults. A brilliant speech. That is, unless, you're the Australian Christian Lobby, which had this to say about it; or NOM, which reprinted the statement:
Mr Rudd’s bullying of a Christian pastor on Q&A in the final week of the campaign made Australians feel uncomfortable with the consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed.

It should not be up to politicians to decide to normalise this sort of treatment of fellow Australians who will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

To NOM and ACL: Do either of you know what a debate even is? It's trying to convince your opponent that they're wrong. If we can't even explain ourselves and our position without your side reacting like that, then it's clear that you just run an obsessive self-victimization campaign, where your concerns are not legitimate concerns about freedom, but just an effort to make us look bad whenever we speak.

December 20, 2013

Phil Robertson had just been suspended by A&E for his homophobic and racist comments to GQ Magazine. NOM was thrown into an outright conniption fit (never thought I'd quote Rush):

It is ludicrous, in America in 2013, that Christians and other people of faith should feel the need to "duck and cover" when it comes to expressing their beliefs, which are protected by the very first clauses of the very first amendment to our Constitution! Of course, that same amendment, in addition to protecting our free exercise of religion, also guarantees us the right of free speech.
I don't think it's controversial for a company to discipline an employee for a stupid action undertaken by said employee. Companies need to not have employees embarrass them by saying something stupid. It's why Martin Bashir lost his job for his attack on Sarah Palin only about two weeks before Robertson was suspended. No one batted an eyelid over that. And there was no free speech violation, because the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting speech, not private companies.

NOM: This was not a sign of Christian persecution. Robertson got off easier than some others who have made stupid comments, like Bashir. I find it interesting that the only time disciplining an employee for offensive comments is met with resistance is when those comments are motivated by religion.

December 30, 2013

NOM perpetuates a consistent conspiracy theory: marriage equality campaigners want to force everyone to get gay married. When the Rose Parade in Pasadena featured two same-sex weddings, they took this conspiracy theory to a new level:

The decision to allow two gay couples to ‘marry’ on a float during the Rose Parade denigrates this once family-friendly event. It’s another ‘in your face’ example that should serve as a teachable moment for the American people. Once marriage is redefined to make it genderless, this perverse construct of ‘marriage’ is forced on everyone.

[...]

The record is replete with examples of people who have been punished for refusing to support genderless marriage.

If that's the full extent of the harm that marriage equality will apparently bring, then you've got no case.

June 3, 2014

The Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) had recently had two posts in opposition to homophobia and transphobia. They were:

Even the Catholic Church should be able to support that. There was no mention of marriage equality, but just really basic stuff that shouldn't be controversial, like killing people for being gay is bad. But it was still too much for NOM. They labelled the posts "offensive", "incendiary" and "insulting provocations", and said that they are like "suggesting Muslims or orthodox Jews start eating pork."

In summary, here's what NOM believes about the marriage equality movement:

Standing still while holding a balloon or an umbrella is "militancy" and "intolerant".

Staging a counter-protest at which there is yelling is "intolerance", "hatred" and "intimidat[ing] [] into silence", even though they've told their own supporters to be loud and make noise.

Chanting by marriage equality supporters at the same time that an opponent of marriage equality speaks is worse than a threat to kidnap a child.

Explaining your opposition to a marriage discrimination amendment, if you use certain arguments, means that you think your opposition is "pro-bullying, Nazi-inspired, slavery-sympathetic, pro-stoning", and "anti-woman".

Boycotting a company is equivalent to "threatening, bullying, attempting to destroy", "declaring war on" and "full-frontal assault".

Anything short of actively fighting against marriage equality, even if one does still oppose it, makes one responsible for the vandalism of churches.

Merely explaining one's support for marriage equality to an opponent is "bullying" with "consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief".

A homophobe being suspended from his job for making offensive comments means that a First Amendment violation has occurred.

Public gay weddings are "examples of people who have been punished for refusing to support genderless marriage."

Remembering Matthew Shepard, supporting LGBT youth, and increasing tolerance toward people who are different is "offensive", "incendiary" and "insulting", and linking the Catholic Church to anti-homo/transphobia statements is "insulting provocation[]" and like "suggesting Muslims or Orthodox Jews start eating pork."

NOM: If that's what you are using you accuse us of intolerance and tyranny, then you have failed. The song over your "March for (Straight) Marriage" video should be Of Monsters And Men's "Little Talks" - "Don't listen to a word I say."

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Comment Preferences

  •  The bottom line is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftprogressive

    that you can't call someone intolerant who refuses to let you discriminate against them.  No one is forcing anyone to get "gay married."  You don't' like marriage equality?  Don't marry someone of the same sex.  Pretty simple.  The rest is just addle-minded hysteria used to gin up money to pay Brian Brown's salary and jaunts to Gay Paree. (Oops, hope I didn't offend your delicate fees-fees, there, Brian.)

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