National Organization for Marriage

NOM’s Favorite DC Council Candidate Waiting in the Wings

In 2010, the National Organization for Marriage tried to make good on its pledge to punish pro-marriage-equality political leaders in the District of Columbia by pouring money into the election for the Ward 5 seat on the DC council.  As we reported then, NOM paid tens of thousands of dollars for direct mail, robocalls, and racially divisive flyers attacking incumbent councilmember Harry Thomas for his pro-equality vote and supporting Delano Hunter, who according one NOM 2010 flyer “shares our values.”

In spite of NOM’s help, Hunter lost to Thomas in the Democratic primary, ending up with 19 percent of the vote to Thomas’s 62 percent.  That was good enough to put Hunter in second place. And now, with Thomas embroiled in scandal and reportedly planning to resign as part of a plea deal, Hunter is eager to make another run for the Council.  Washington City Paper’s “Loose Lips” column reports:

It’s certainly my intention to run again if the seat opens up,” says Delano Hunter, who ran against Thomas last year and isn’t as gun-shy. Hunter says you won’t hear serious candidates criticize Thomas, because no one wants to be seen as kicking a man while he’s down.

“You have to be careful,” he says, comparing the current low-key politicking that’s going on in the ward to a “cold war” atmosphere.

That being said, Hunter says his team of supporters are eager to get started on another campaign “at a moment’s notice.”

“We really feel like this is our moment,” says Hunter.

It’s worth remembering that last time around, Hunter’s “team of supporters” included anti-gay leaders like Bishop Harry Jackson and NOM’s Brian Brown, who bragged about forming a PAC to funnel money from “white suburban Christian Republicans to help elect pro-marriage and pro-life black Democrats in the District of Columbia.” 

Right Wing Round-Up

“Mormon Issue” Keeps Romney out of Weekend GOP Debate, Highlights Religious Right Schism

The next Republican presidential debate – the Thanksgiving Family Forum – is tomorrow in the crucial early caucus state of Iowa. The elephant in the room will be the elephant not in the room – frontrunner Mitt Romney who is avoiding the event, presumably to prevent the “Mormon issue” from heating up again.

The Thanksgiving Family Forum is being sponsored by three right-wing organizations: Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Family Leader, an Iowa-based Christian conservative organization. On the face of it, Romney fits in rather well with this crowd. He has called homosexuality “perverse” and “reprehensible” and has signed on to NOM’s pledge against equal rights for committed gay and lesbian couples. So far so good for Mitt, but there’s a theological snag.
 
Many Religious Right activists and organizers care first and foremost about supporting a “real” Christian. However, according to a recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, “nearly half (49 percent) of white evangelical Protestant voters do not believe that the Mormon faith is a Christian religion.”
 
Romney desperately wants to avoid a repeat of the Values Voters Summit, where high profile Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress introduced Rick Perry and then claimed that Romney is not a "true, born again follower of Christ." The attack captured national headlines and greatly hindered Romney’s efforts to woo the Religious Right.
 
After Romney bowed out of tomorrow’s debate, which will feature all the other top GOP candidates, Family Leader founder Bob Vander Plaats went on Fox News to denounce the decision:  “Mitt Romney has dissed this base in Iowa and this diss will not stay in Iowa[.]This might prove that he is not smart enough to be president.” Earlier Vander Plaats said that “should Romney decide to show up, there is no doubt that the hidden question on Mitt Romney has been his Mormon faith.”
 
Despite Romney’s deeply  conservative social views, the “Mormon issue” will continue to haunt him, and no amount of pandering can overcome what appears to be a deep-seated theological objection. Look no further than Religious Right radio giant Focus on the Family.
 
Focus’ CitizenLink made headlines in late 2008 when it pulled an interview with Glenn Beck over his Mormon faith, as the Deseret News reported:
 
James Dobson's Focus on the Family ministry has pulled from its CitizenLink Web site an article about talk show host Glenn Beck's book "The Christmas Sweater" after some complained that Beck's LDS faith is a "cult" and "false religion" and shouldn't be promoted by a Christian ministry.
 
The controversy reportedly began when the group Underground Apologetics issued a press release on Christian Newswire attacking the Mormon faith:
 
While Glenn's social views are compatible with many Christian views, his beliefs in Mormonism are not. Clearly, Mormonism is a cult. The CitizenLink story does not mention Beck's Mormon faith, however, the story makes it look as if Beck is a Christian who believes in the essential doctrines of the faith.
 
Shortly after, Focus on the Family caved:
 
We do recognize the deep theological difference between evangelical theology and Mormon theology, and it would have been prudent for us at least to have pointed out these differences. Because of the confusion, we have removed the interview from CitizenLink.
 
Earlier in 2008, Tom Minnery – CitizenLink’s executive director and an organizer of tomorrow’s debate – was quoted in Time saying that “Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith.” However, he acknowledged that “on the social issues we are so similar.”
 
Minnery appeared somewhat conciliatory on Wednesday, saying that “There is room for people who do not hold an orthodox Christianity, we prize Thomas Jefferson, but I don’t think anybody would say he was an orthodox Christian in his beliefs.” However, that begs the question of whether the Religious Right views Romney as a non-orthodox Christian or a non-Christian. Minnery himself seemed to answer that question four years ago.
 
As for Romney, he will continue to tout his social conservative credentials while doing his best to keep his religious views out of the limelight.

 

Cain Won't Face Questions About Sexual Harassment Allegations At Religious Right Candidate Forum

Next Saturday, most of the leading Republican presidential contenders will be gathering in Iowa for a "Thanksgiving Family Forum" that will be moderated by Republican pollster Frank Luntz.  The event is being sponsored by The Family Leader, the National Organization for Marriage, and CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family.

Since CitizenLink is one of the co-sponsors, Executive Director Tom Minnery will be assisting Luntz in asking questions of the candidates and explains that the purpose of this forum is different from all of the debates that have been held so far:

We’re well into the presidential primary election debate season and I suspect that the candidates are as frustrated as those of us in the viewing audience, with “gotcha” questions, testy squabbles, and your-national-defense-strategy-in-30-seconds-please time limits.

Those of us in the social conservative realm have noticed something else-the virtual absence of intelligent and probing questions on the enduring values of faith, family, and society’s responsibilities to its children, both born and preborn. These are the messier and many times controversial issues that derive from the soul and for which sound bites simply won’t do.

In a recent CitizenLink video, Minnery explained that while Mitt Romney will reportedly not be attending, all of the others will, including Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain. 

But when it comes to Cain, Minnery says that he will not be asked about the myriad of sexual harassment/assault allegations that he is facing:

Stuart Shepard: One of people who will be there has been in the headlines a lot over the past week and a half, and that is businessman Herman Cain. Are you going to hit him with tough questions about what has been in the headlines?

Minnery: Well, that itself is a tough question but I'm glad you asked it because, actually, no. Every person in every press outlet that I'm aware of wants to get to Herman Cain on these questions about sexual harassment from years ago and they're having ample opportunity to do that. There are issues that we want to know that don't happen to deal with that and we're not going to take up our time dealing with that issue because, as I say, everybody else is doing that. That's the one thing about Herman Cain that's in the press daily now.

So there you go:  the Religious Right will be hosting the forum designed to find out where the Republicans candidates stand on issues regarding the "enduring values of faith [and] family," but they are "not going to take up our time" asking the frontrunner about the multiple allegations of sexual harassment he is facing.

New Religious Right Video: Secularism Means Doom For America

One of the sessions at the recent Values Voter Summit featured a showing of a new half-hour video produced by the American Family Association called “Divorcing God: Secularism and the Republic.” (Back in the summer it was being promoted as "Divorcing God: Secularism, Sexual Anarchy, and the Future of the Republic.") The video features an array of Religious Right leaders and academics, whose argument can be summarized this way:  America, whose greatness is decaying because the country has turned its back on the God who inspired the founding fathers, is doomed if it continues to allow secularists to push religion into the closet.  It's time for Christians to fight back.

And just to be clear, the God in “one nation under God” isn’t any old generic God, but the same Christian God who made western civilization possible.  It’s familiar to anyone who has followed the Religious Right’s “Christian nation” rhetoric, filled with founders’ quotes about religion and  attacks on the Supreme Court’s rulings on church-state separation.

Among the stars of the video is Princeton University’s Robert George, the Religious Right’s favorite intellectual. George, a leader of the National Organization for Marriage, is one of the authors of the Manhattan Declaration, whose signers fancy themselves potential martyrs for opposing abortion and LGBT equality in America. Others include Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute; Michael Farris, homeschooling advocate and chancellor of Patrick Henry College; and Matthew Spalding, of the Heritage Foundation. The founders clearly believed that God punishes nations, says Dacus, and when countries allow their societies to become amoral, there’s a price to be paid, not just by those individuals but society as a whole.  The video suggests that the current fight between secularists and those who want to preserve the country’s divine foundation is the last stand for the future of freedom on planet earth.

Another DVD being handed out at the Values Voter Summit hit similar themes about the importance of the nation’s foundation on biblical principles.  It features a 2010 “State of the Nation” speech delivered by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  Ham argues that the nation is threatened by the teaching of evolution and by the Supreme Court. “There really is no such thing as separation of church and state,” says Ham, who warns that “Christianity in this nation is becoming outlawed more and more in various quarters.”  Ham blames the decline more on church leaders than on secularists.  The Bible is the “absolute authority,” he says, but too many Christians have undermined the authority of scripture by compromising on the truth of the 6,000 year-old earth and great flood described in Genesis.  And that means quoting the Bible in policy debates on abortion and gay marriage has lost its effectiveness.

Meanwhile, French scholar Denis Lacorne has just published Religion in America: A Political History (Columbia University Press, 2011), in which he examines two competing narratives about American identity.  One derives from the secular values of the Enlightenment and reflects a desire to preserve liberty by freeing it from the power of an established church.  The second ties American identity to the Puritans and Protestantism.  These two narratives are reflected in competing notions of church-state separation evident today in our politics and on our Supreme Court.  At a presentation at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. this week, Lacorne suggested that what he calls the neopuritan narrative was developed in the first half of the 19th century by historians who wanted to resurrect the influence of the Puritans, who he says were generally ignored by the founding fathers in their debates over religious liberty and whether or not to make the Constitution an explicitly Christian document.  (They chose not to.)

 

Are VVS Organizers Trying To Hide Fischer's Involvement?

Last month, we asked why Bryan Fischer was not being pictured among the confirmed and invited leaders to the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

Fischer has been a featured speaker for each of the last two years at the event and has always been prominently featured on the speaker's list in years past.  And considering that his employer, The American Family Association, is a co-sponsor of the event, it seemed rather unlikely that Fischer had been dropped, despite his long record of unmitigated bigotry.

The Values Voter Summit is being held next week and Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum are all pictured on the confirmed speaker list, as are dozens of other GOP and Religious Right leaders ... but Fischer is nowhere to be found:

But just because he is not listed on the speakers page, that doesn't mean that Fischer won't be speaking, because the event schedule has him listed as speaking directly after Mitt Romney on Saturday:

9:00 a.m. - Noon

MORNING PLENARY SESSION - Regency Ballroom

- Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Dr. Bill Bennett, Host, Morning in America*

- Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association*

Straight Talk on Gay "Marriage"

- Moderator: Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action
- Daniel Avila, J.D., Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family , U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops*
- Brian Brown, Executive Director, National Organization for Marriage
- Derek McCoy, President, Maryland Family Alliance*
- David Tyree, Former Wide Receiver, New York Giants

- General William Boykin (Ret.), Former Commander, Delta Force*

The asterisk by Fischer's name indicates that he is a confirmed speaker, so why are event organizers seemingly trying to conceal his participation?

NOM's Morse: America Becoming Like Nazi Germany

Jennifer Roback Morse, the president of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, hosted Religious Right leader Chuck Colson on her radio show on Monday. During the program, Morse compared the position of marriage equality opponents to that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the renowned Lutheran pastor involved in the anti-Nazi resistance who was executed by the Nazis in 1945. Morse said that “the parallels” between Nazi Germany and contemporary America “are really quite chilling” and what happened in Nazi Germany “is happening to us”:

Morse: We need to be strong and we need to stand together here on these issues of the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and religious liberty because if we don’t stand up for it now we’re going to lose it. I’ve been reading Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the parallels are really quite chilling because the Nazis were able to scare people into being silent, and they scared people by threatening their jobs, and they scared people by creating an atmosphere of intimidation. I hate to say it but it is happening to us and it happens because good people remain silent and the plain fact of the matter is that there are more of us than there are of the people who want to silent us, and even people on the left are on our side on this type of issue so I think it’s very important that we keep speaking because if we don’t use these rights, if we don’t use our free speech rights we will lose them.

Barton: "Hang These Four Republican Scalps Over The Senate Rail" For Supporting Marriage Equality

Today on WallBuilders Live, David Barton and co-host Rick Green had the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher as a guest to discuss NOM’s efforts to defeat senators that voted for the marriage equality law in New York, especially the law’s four Republican supporters. Following Gallagher’s interview, Barton lauded NOM’s campaign and warned that unless those Republicans are defeated, “Ken Mehlman,” the former head of the Republican National Committee and Bush campaign chief who recently came out as gay, “and his kind [will] come in and start rewarding these guys for going against pro-family stuff.” Barton went on to say that “this is where you hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail,” to intimidate other Republicans who consider supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians:

Barton: If you allow the Ken Mehlman kind of Republicans to come in, and Melhman’s the guy who ran the Republican National Convention, he’s the guy who came out, who’s openly homosexual, trained with Karl Rove and was an understudy to Karl, if you allow those guys to be able to facilitate the Republicans to turn on these issues and other squishy Republicans across the country will say, ‘hey I can take on these pro-family people,’ they’ll start doing the same thing. Then you’ll lose your opportunity to have at least one party that still has the ability to allow people to talk about biblical, moral issues. You just cannot let this happen. Here I sit in Texas, I’ll contribute to the campaign to take these guys out, I’ll send money from Texas to New York.

Green: It’s kind of like the Iowa deal, going after judges up there and the necessity to defeat them.

Barton: Hey, you think that didn’t scare a bunch of judges straight in other states? You bet it did. And I want to see pro-family guys scared straight that are squishy on this issue, and if we can’t take out these four Republicans and the Majority Leader in New York, we will have opened a huge door for Melhman and his kind to come in and start rewarding these guys for going against pro-family stuff, and you just can’t let that happen.



Barton: No disrespect to our Native American friends, but this is where you hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail. You hang these four Republican scalps over the Senate rail and every other Republican senator looks up and sees those scalps and says, ‘my gosh, I’ll be hanging up there beside them if I don’t stay with this pro-family stuff.’ And that’s exactly what has to happen.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It looks like Tim Pawlenty will also sign the National Organization for Marriage's pledge.
  • Speaking of NOM, they are unsurprisingly not impressed with the American Psychological Association's support for marriage equality.
  • Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's hatred of Gov. Rick Perry continues, as she announces she won't endorse him for president.
  • Apparently, praying at Gov. Perry's prayer rally is just like being Indiana Jones.
  • Finally, is there any anti-gay activist more obsessed with gay sex than Peter LaBarbera?

Bachmann, Romney, Santorum Promise "Presidential Commission To Investigate Harassment Of Traditional Marriage Supporters"

As we mentioned yesterday, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa.

In kicking off the event, NOM has announced that Santorum, Bachmann, and Mitt Romney have all signed a five-point "Marriage Pledge" [PDF] that includes a promise to establish a "presidential commission" to "investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters":

One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.

Two, nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the Constitution, appoint an attorney general similarly committed, and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution.

Three, defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.

Four, establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.

Five, advance legislation to return to the people ofthe District of Columbia their right to vote on marriage.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah celebrates CPAC's dumping of GOProud.
  • Get your tickets for the forthcoming anti-Palin documentary "Sarah Palin — You Betcha."
  • Rick Perry says he has "no idea what God's plans are for me, but I'm going to try to be as faithful to him as I can be" in deciding to run for president.
  • On a related note, perhaps all the talk of Perry shaking-up the GOP race is just that.
  • Finally, I can't wait to see the National Organization for Marriage maintain its anti-boycott stance and start going after the American Family Association.

GOP Leaders Joining Religious Right Groups For "Values Voter Bus Tour" Through Iowa

The Family Research Council has just announced that Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa next week:

FRC Action's Faith Family Freedom Fund, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List today announced the "Values Voter Bus Tour" that next week will cover 1,305 miles in four days with events in 22 cities. The tour will pass through 47 of Iowa's 99 counties.

Presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum will participate in the tour, and candidate Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential candidates are expected to join the tour as well. U.S. Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) will also join Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, Susan B. Anthony List's Marilyn Musgrave, and other state and national leaders. The tour will be kicked off by Faith Family Freedom Fund Chairman Connie Mackey on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at the state capitol and conclude at the Ames Straw Poll on August 13.

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Last November, the people of Iowa reclaimed their right to govern themselves by removing three activist judges from power. We were honored to play a part in that victory with our successful Judge Bus tour that traveled the state highlighting the issue.

"The Values Bus Tour will speak to the views held by millions of American voters who want to make sure that issues impacting the family and the broader culture are understood and addressed by each of the candidates. The race is clearly wide open. Values voters will be closely watching next week's events as they determine which of the candidates are willing to do what it takes once elected to restore fiscal sanity, protect marriage, safeguard religious liberty and protect the rights of the unborn," concluded Perkins.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, made the following comments:

"President Obama is the most pro-abortion President in United States history. He has shown a willingness to shut down the federal government in order to keep Planned Parenthood funded with tax payer subsidies and even threatened individual states for exercising their Tenth Amendment right to de-fund the organization at a state level. It is time to replace Obama with a true pro-life leader in the White House. That effort begins in Iowa. The Values Voter Bus Tour is designed to get the word out to straw poll and caucus goers regarding which Presidential candidates can be counted on as strong and vocal leaders for women and unborn children."

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), made the following comments:

"President Obama has done virtually everything in his power to undermine the institution of marriage, including refusing to defend the bi-partisan Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Clinton. NOM is committed to ensuring that the next president is a strong and committed supporter of traditional marriage and will commit his or her administration to vigorously defending marriage in the courts, Congress and in the court of public opinion. We were the largest contributor to the effort to unseat the state judges who imposed same-sex marriage on Iowa by judicial fiat. We look forward to playing an extremely active role in encouraging the people of Iowa, including our tens of thousands of supporters, to make a difference in selecting an unambiguously pro-marriage candidate in Iowa."

A Who's Who of Religious Right Activists Participated In Robison's Leadership Summits

Last week, Time's Amy Sullivan reported that dozens of Religious Right leaders gathered for "a conference call to discuss their dissatisfaction with the current GOP presidential field, and agreed that Rick Perry would be their preferred candidate if he entered the race."

Brian Kaylor of EthicsDaily.com had reported on the same thing a few weeks back, noting that the effort was being organized by James Robison.

Last Friday, Robison wrote a post on his blog in which explained that he had called these gatherings in September of 2010 and June of 2011 because "there is an insidious attack on God, faith, family and freedom" and that God was planning on using this group of "national leaders to help inspire a spiritual awakening, a return to sanity and a restoration of freedom’s foundation."

And he also conveniently posted a list of every person who had participated:

George: Andrew Cuomo Can't Be Catholic Because He Supports Marriage Equality

Robert George, founder of the American Principles Project and Chairman Emeritus of the National Organization for Marriage, said that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t be considered a Catholic because he signed marriage equality into law. In an interview with Kathryn Lopez of the National Review, George also attacks Gov. Cuomo for living with but not marrying his companion Sandra Lee, saying that “no one takes him to be a serious Catholic” and that he “flouts his Catholic principles.” Using George’s logic, more than half of Catholics in America would not be “real Catholics” because they favor marriage equality.

LOPEZ: How significant is it that this governor is Catholic?

GEORGE: Is he? There are many devout Protestants and even Jews and Muslims whose moral beliefs and practices are far more closely in line with Catholic teachings than Andrew Cuomo’s are. Andrew’s father’s views and policies gave scandal (as Catholics use that term) precisely because people took him to be a serious Catholic. No one is scandalized by Andrew’s beliefs or conduct because no one takes him to be a serious Catholic, that is, a Catholic who is serious enough about his faith to live by its tenets. Indeed, he quite publicly flouts Catholic principles, and doesn’t even seem to wrestle with it or be anguished about it, as his father at least liked to give the appearance of being. In word and deed, he has made it clear that he simply does not believe what Catholicism teaches about sexual morality and marriage. There is no reason to suppose that he regards the Catholic Church as having the authority to teach definitively on these issues or anything else. If there is a sense in which he is a Catholic, it does not involve believing what the Catholic Church teaches or even that the Catholic Church has any authority to teach. So I don’t see Cuomo’s Catholicism as a significant part of this story. He doesn’t even pretend to be serious enough about it to make anyone care or even take much notice.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann announced (again) her intention to run for president.
  • And she is off to a great start.
  • The Family Research Council says that passage of marriage equality in New York was the result of "enormous political coercion [that] resulted in a profound failure of moral courage in the New York Senate."
  • The National Organization for Marriage is pledging $2 million to defeat the NY Republicans who voted for the marriage equality bill.
  • Bryan Fischer continues his hate crime crusade.
  • Finally, part two of Randall Terry's interview with Rick Santorum was disappointingly dull.

NOM Preemptively Declares Victory In New York

While negotiations continue in the New York State Senate over a marriage equality bill that has already passed the Assembly, the National Organization for Marriage has declared victory. In a post on National Review Online that has since been removed and replaced, Thomas Peters of NOM congratulated his group and other anti-gay activists for toppling the bill that hasn’t even reached the floor for a vote yet:

Religious Right Writer Derides Marriage Equality Advocates As "Forces Of Anarchy"

Lauding former New York Giant David Tyree’s strong criticism of a pending New York marriage equality bill, Janie Cheaney of the ultraconservative WORLD Magazine dubbed supporters of the legislation “forces of anarchy.” According to Cheaney, passing a bill allowing gay couples to marry will only help a “minuscule number of people” and will lead to the “undefining of the family.” Cheaney writes:

The minuscule number of people who stand to directly benefit from such legislation suggests further that it’s not about marriage at all—it’s about breaking down all barriers to consenting adults living exactly how they please, with dissenting voices confined to the margins.

Last week, former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree stated his opposition to Cuomo’s bill in a video interview with the National Organization for Marriage. Tyree, best known for his legendary catch against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII, is now catching heck. A Yahoo Sports headline read, “Super Bowl hero’s shocking same-sex marriage comments.” Shocking? Tyree said, “The moment we have [same sex marriage], if you trace back even to other cultures, other countries, that will be the moment where our society . . . loses its grip with what’s right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society.” He predicted anarchy otherwise, a fighting word if internet reaction to his interview is to be taken seriously.

And it should. We’re in a bare-knuckle fight with forces of anarchy, whether they know it or not. They think they’re about redefining the family, but it actually goes a step further: This is about undefining the family. The family becomes whatever they say it is, on any given day or legislative session. Kudos to the Republicans of the New York Senate (and one lone Democrat), and kudos to David Tyree for resisting the push.

GOP Presidential Candidates Join Far-Right Group For Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour

According to the Des Moines Register, Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum will take part in Iowa’s Tea Party Bus Tour. The bus tour is led by a coalition of right-wing groups: the Leadership Institute, FairTax Nation, and the American Principles Project’s affiliated groups, Preserve Innocence and American Principles in Action.

Founded by noted anti-gay activist Robert George, the group is also closely linked to the Manhattan Declaration and the National Organization for Marriage, which it worked with to defeat marriage equality in Maine. Thomas Peters, the APP’s communications director, even participated in a conference tied to the notoriously anti-Semitic Polish broadcaster Tadeusz Rydsyk of Radio Maryja.

The APP is best known for instigating the boycott of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference due to its inclusion of GOProud, a group of gay conservatives, and rallied other Religious Right organizations to leave the summit.

Preserve Innocence is the APP’s education watchdog and is mainly a voice against comprehensive sex education and anti-bullying programs. The group outspokenly opposed the role of Kevin Jennings, the White House’s outgoing Assistant Secretary for the Department of Education’s Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools and the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, asserting that his views represent a “moral atrocity”:

Kevin Jennings aggressively advocates using our schools to teach children—including young children—about homosexuality and homosexual practices. He is the author of a Foreword to a book called Queering Elementary Education, and as the former Director of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network), he supports a radical agenda that includes bringing sexual liberationist teachings into public schools. That’s what he means by “queering” elementary education.

“Queering” our elementary schools means destroying the innocence of our children. Please help us to stop that moral atrocity from happening.

The APP also bizarrely claims that President Obama was establishing “death panels” and working with Planned Parenthood to encourage students to have abortions:

“There is a frightening disconnect between what American parents believe their children should be taught about sex and by whom, and the liberal, even promiscuous sex education the Obama administration wishes to inflict upon our children through Planned Parenthood”, stated Andy Blom, Executive Director of the American Principles Project and American Principles in Action. “But this goes beyond sex education. This is opening the doors of our schools and their health programs to the nation’s largest abortion provider.”



President Obama’s Health Care plan threatens babies through Government mandated, taxpayer funded abortion. It threatens parental rights, pre-teens and teenagers through Planned Parenthood SBHC sex indoctrination. It threatens the elderly and disabled through rationed health care and end-of-life “Death Panels.”

NOM Endorses Hartzler's Anti-Gay Comments

As Brian noted in his earlier post, Rep. Vicky Hartzler is standing by her claims that legalizing gay marriage is akin to legalizing pedophilia, incest, and letting three-year olds drive a car. 

We caught Hartzler making those statements when she attended an Eagle Forum Collegians Summit last week and posted the video in an effort to highlight her radical views ... but it seems that to the National Organization for Marriage, comparing marriage equality to pedophilia and incest are perfectly acceptable, as NOM has stolen our video, removed our logo, and posted it on their own blog approvingly:

Here is our original video and here is the video posted by NOM.

This is, in fact, the second time that NOM has taken one of our videos, removed our logo, and then reposted the clip in order to endorse the views espoused.

At Ralph Reed Confab, Obama Portrayed as Enemy of Faith and Freedom

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington, D.C. this past weekend was essentially a relentless repetition of the GOP’s 2012 attack themes on the Obama administration, mixed with Religious Right leaders’ demands that the Tea Party not abandon social conservatives’ priorities and conservative politicos’ appeals for unity behind whichever candidate emerges from the presidential crowd.  Just about everyone running, or thinking about running, for the presidency on the Republican side was in attendance with the exception of Newt Gingrich.

One of the easiest, and most frequently used, ways to get applause at F&F was to pledge that Obama will be a one-term president.  Among the other major themes:
 
American Exceptionalism
 
Former Senator Rick Santorum, who officially announced his presidential bid this morning, said his campaign theme will be American exceptionalism.  Unfortunately, for Santorum, it seems that every Republican candidate is talking about American exceptionalism – and the claim that President Obama, Democrats, and “liberal elites” don’t believe that the U.S. is the God-ordained greatest nation in the history of the world – so it’s going to be hard to break away from the pack on that score.  Gary Bauer claimed that American elites don’t believe the words of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
‘Obamacare’ = Socialism = The End of Freedom
 
Many speakers cited health care reform as the ultimate example of the Democrats’ commitment to freedom-destroying socialism.  Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network said it was one example of progressives’ tendency to say “to hell with the Constitution” when it got in the way of their policy goals.  Rep. Allen West even attacked the notion of “shared sacrifice,” which he said was code for “redistribution of wealth,” which is how the right-wing looks at progressive taxation.  Rep. Tom Price, who clearly needs to spend some time studying American history, called the health care reform bill “the furthest reach of oppression that this society has ever seen.”  Others similarly insisted that the implementation of the law would mean the end of liberty in America.  Michele Bachman shouted, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare. America will not rest until we repeal Obamacare.”  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the fight against Obamacare is just one sign that federalism is reemerging.  He argued that Americans need to understand that there is a “liberty pie” that does not grow – and it has only two slices, government power and individual liberty – and one necessarily grows at the expense of the other. 
 
America Needs More Religion (as long as it’s not Islam)
 
The FFC was long on Religious Right rhetoric on religion and politics.  The pastor who gave the opening prayer for the conference gave thanks for “a nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”  The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins exulted that it was good to be among folks who are “not ashamed to defend the Christian principles on which this nation was founded.”  The Republican National Committee’s Reince Priebus said America’s greatness is “rooted in our faith” and that “faith in our God, and faith in our savior” is “not a convenience, it is the foundation of a good life.” But Islam was clearly deemed a threat, with one participant telling a contentiouspanel on Sharia law that in Minnesota “we practically have a Muslim state.”  
 
Reproductive Rights and Gay Rights = Big Government
 
In the “Social Issues: Why They Still Matter” panel, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal discussed “the psychology of those who are trying to undermine the moral fiber of this country,” arguing that liberals are compelled by a lust for power and therefore need to “control people” and “lower standards of society as a whole.” Fund explained that “if you can lower standards” by permitting legal abortion and gay equality, then liberals can gain control over society, and insisted that “we have to bring back shaming” of women who had abortions because “we need to be judgmental about this issue, we need to call out people for the choices that they made, ‘shaming’ is not a bad word in this society.” On a separate panel, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher said, “When you redefine marriage, you also redefine the relationship between Genesis and the American tradition,” which would jeopardize freedom because “in some cases, the power of government is already being used to marginalize and stigmatize people who disagree with the foundational ideas of same-sex marriage.”
 
Obama as Enemy of Israel
 
Michele Bachman was one of several speakers who misportrayed recent Obama administration comments about Israel, calling them a “shocking display of betraying our greatest friend and ally.” One participant commented that “life, liberty, and Israel” were the elements that make up “the pursuit of happiness.” Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said Obama may soon be referring to Israel as “the Zionist regime” and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission implied that Obama may bringing upon the country the curse of God for his policy towards Israel. Peter Roff of U.S. News and World Report lamented that “the American Jewish community is for some reason enamored of Democratic politicians in general and Barack Obama specifically.”
 
Unified Conservative Movement
 
FRC’s Perkins was among many Religious Right speakers who argued for keeping social conservatives’ priorities at the forefront of the movement in the name of conservative movement unity.  Perkins used a strange mixed metaphor, saying it is the “bottom of the ninth for our beloved country” and no time to lapse into an undisciplined orchestra, calling for a “rousing symphony” – drums of national defense, the horns of economic abundance, and the strings that bind a strong family.  Among others who sounded the same theme were Indiana gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence, who said, “we have to recognize that our present crisis is not just economic or political but moral in nature” and touted the importance of the sanctity of life, “traditional marriage,” and the importance of organized religion in our daily life.
 
Haley Barbour, one of the potential presidential candidates who decided not to run, devoted his remarks to lecturing attendees about the need to rally behind whichever candidate was nominated even though the nominee won’t be perfect.  “In politics,” he said, “purity is the enemy of victory.” Tony Blankley warned that the media and Democrats would love to “divide and conquer” the movement.
 
Advocating for social issues at the FFC was clearly preaching to the choir.  But some Tea Party activists were clearly annoyed by the “you’re nothing without us” attitude of Religious Right activists Jordan Sekulow and Matt Barber at a panel on the “Teavangelicals” that was moderated by the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.
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National Organization for Marriage Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/10/2013, 2:05pm
Jennifer Thieme of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute is worried that marriage equality laws will mean that no one can be a bride or a groom ever again. According to Thieme, in states that recognize same-sex marriages, “no woman gets to be a bride and no man gets to be a groom,” which may come as a surprise to all of the couples who have been married there since marriage equality was approved. And of course, big government will step in to pick up the pieces. “The state will not likely give up the increased power it gets over individuals, children,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/02/2013, 5:25pm
Benjy Sarlin @ MSNBC: How the GOP stopped worrying about Latinos and learned to love the base.  Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: The 10 Most Absurd Things Texas Republicans Said About Abortion This Year. Aviva Shen @ Think Progress: North Carolina Prepares To Suppress Black Voters, Now That The Voting Rights Act Lost Its Teeth. Brian Fung @ National Journal: No, There (Probably) Isn’t a Facebook Conspiracy to Censor Conservatives.  Jeremy Hooper @ NOM Exposed: NOM’s Comm Director doesn’t want dialogue, hangs up on interviewer. Luke... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/02/2013, 5:20pm
New Jersey Democrats are working to overturn Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a marriage equality bill.  NOM is going on offense in Indiana.  Alan Keyes claims that the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling was “borderline insane.”  Michael Brown fears conservatives are too busy “wasting hours a day playing silly games” while America is “spinning out of control in a deadly spiral, plunging rapidly into moral and spiritual anarchy.”  Les Kinsolving seems to be under the impression that the Supreme Court... MORE >
Tory Roberts, Thursday 06/27/2013, 5:19pm
Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage knows who to blame for yesterday’s marriage equality victories in the Supreme Court: Hollywood. Roback Morse, the campaign spokesperson for Proposition 8 in California, discussed the marriage equality decisions on today’s Sandy Rios in the Morning. She blamed Hollywood for the Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, saying that Hollywood is “dominated by all aspects of the sexual revolution.” Morse also blamed television for American’s “distorted view” of how many gay... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/08/2013, 12:45pm
National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown is convinced that marriage equality advocates, who just helped pass laws legalizing same-sex marriage in Delaware and Rhode Island, will go down in defeat since they are opposed to “the will of the majority of Americans” and solely rely on the support of “our cultural elite.” Speaking with Janet Mefferd yesterday, Brown argued that Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), who both support marriage equality, will lose their re-election races in 2016 over the marriage issue…if they even opt to run... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 04/01/2013, 5:35pm
John Avlon @ The Daily Beast: Palin’s SarahPAC Embarrassment: Consultants Are Cashing In. Jeremy Hooper: Head of org that's vowed to 'drive a wedge between gays and blacks' says it's a 'slur' to compare gay, black fights. Joe.My.God: NOM's Message To Google. Tom Kludt @ TPM: Georgia GOP Chair Warns That Straight People Will Enter Sham Gay Marriages For Benefits. Remington Shepard: Obama Doesn't Have A "Pastor Problem." Joshua Pugh @ Progress Michigan: Dave Agema, Unscripted. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Arizona... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/27/2013, 4:25pm
Yesterday in an interview with Religious Right broadcaster Janet Mefferd, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown said that his group’s march against gay rights near the Supreme Court reminded him of the Civil Rights Movement. “I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement but this is what it must have felt like,” Brown said. This isn’t the first time Brown has compared anti-gay activists to the Civil Rights Movement, however, that hasn’t stopped him from criticizing President Obama for linking the movement for gay rights to the struggle for... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/26/2013, 4:30pm
Doug Mainwaring, the openly gay founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots, spoke towards the end of the National Organization for Marriage’s rally on the National Mall today where he warned that same-sex marriage will “unravel” marriage and “undefine children.” Mainwaring, who in an essay wrote that he lives with his ex-wife but “because of my predilections, we deny our own sexual impulses,” urged the Supreme Court to “ignore the media’s relentless, manufactured urgency to institute same-sex marriage.” “As a gay... MORE >