National Organization for Marriage

Religious Right United In Outrage Over SPLC Hate Group Designations

Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center updated its list of anti-gay groups and added several new organizations to its list of anti-gay hate groups. 

Many influential Religious Right groups found themselves placed upon the SPLC's updated list, including the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for American, National Organization for Marriage, and Liberty Counsel.  And to say that they are not happy about it would be a massive understatement.

NOM called it an "absurd distraction," saying it stood by its work and that the report was really an attack "on the majority of Americans who believe that to make a marriage you need a husband and wife" while Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America both responded by accusing the SPLC of being the ones "who are actually filled with hate and bigotry."

For it's part, the Family Research Council called the designation part of a "smear campaign" designed to silence Christians and demanded an apology:

"The Left's smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?

"Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination."

Matt Barber, who is one of the most vehemently anti-gay Religious Right activists operating today, yet somehow he and Liberty Counsel managed to avoid being labeled a hate group ... but that didn't stop him from ripping the SPLC in an op-ed in the Washington Times accusing the SPLC of comparing conservatives to Nazis:

So, center-right America: If you happen to believe in the sanctity of natural marriage and that, as a culture, we're best served by honoring the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic of our forefathers, you're now an official "hater."

Of course, the tired goal of this silly meme is to associate in the public mind's eye mainstream conservative social values with racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The ironic result, however, is that, as typically occurs with such ad hominem and hyperbolic attacks, the attacker ends up marginalizing himself and galvanizing his intended target (I'm rubber, you're glue and all that).

Hence, beyond a self-aggrandizing liberal echo chamber, the SPLC - and by extension the greater "progressive" movement - has become largely, as it stews in its own radicalism, just another punch line.

It's often said that the first to call the other a Nazi has lost the argument.

Congratulations, conservative America: They're calling you a Nazi. Carry on.

Of course, that argument might carry more weight if, as Warren Throckmorton points out, groups like the American Family Association weren't regularly saying that all the Nazis were literally gay.

But in terms of sheer absurdity, it is hard to beat the reaction from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission:

"The Southern Poverty Law Center has utterly discredited themselves by this provocative attack on organizations that promote traditional family values," said Rev. Gary L. Cass, of DefendChristians.Org, a ministry of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

"Labeling mainstream conservative organizations as 'Hate groups' is defamatory and is simply an intimidation tactic. We call on Congress to cut off their funding."

"Defend Christians.Org will work to form a coalition of organizations to lobby Congress to withhold funds from SPLC. We will also demand Congress restrict Federal law enforcement from relying on the biased SPLC reports, like the discredited 'Report on Right-Wing Extremism' SPLC wrote for the Department of Homeland Security," said Cass.

This tatic could possibly be effective if the SPLC actually received federal funds ... but it doesn't.  And for some reason Cass continues to insist that the SPLC wrote the DHS report despite having absolutely no evidence that that is the case. 

More Religious Right Groups to Boycott CPAC, Compare GOProud to John Birch Society

Last week the American Principles Project announced that it would boycott the next CAPC convention if organizers allowed the gay conservative group GOProud to participate.

Now, the APP has gotten other Religious Right groups to sign on to a letter to announcing their intent to likewise withdraw from the event:

A coalition of conservative groups led by the American Principles Project today sent a letter to David Keene, Chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and his fellow board members announcing their withdrawal from participation in the 2011 CPAC.

The letter, signed by leaders of American Values, Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, and the National Organization for Marriage, cites the decision to allow GOProud to participate in CPAC, explaining that the inclusion of this group that stands in diametrical opposition to a core principle of conservatism made it necessary to take action.

“This is the line in the sand,” stated Frank Cannon, President of the American Principles Project, an organization dedicated to upholding our most fundamental American Principles. “True conservatives and conservative organizations are rejecting the efforts to destroy conservatism from within by those attempting to marginalize social conservatism. And if that means rejecting CPAC, these conservative leaders have the courage to stand by their principles.”

In the letter, the leaders of these organization actually compare GOProud to the John Birch Society:

Exclusion of GOProud would not be without precedent in the modern history of conservatism. In 1962 William F. Buckley, Jr., called on the Republican Party and the conservative movement generally to dissociate themselves from the John Birch Society. There was no doubt then that the Birch Society embraced such principles as anti-communism and limited government. Yet Buckley and others rightly recognized that there were views its founder and leader possessed, and transmitted to the organization, that, as he wrote in the pages of National Review, were “far removed from common sense.” Buckley concluded, “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner.”

A political generation ago, the John Birch Society embraced conspiracy theories about President Eisenhower, challenging his anti-communist credentials. Today GOProud describes Jim DeMint’s culturally conservative views as “bizarre.”

You know what is the greatest thing about this comparison? 

Last year, the John Birch Society was a co-sponsor of CPAC.

FRC, AFA Among New Organizations Designated "Anti-Gay Hate Groups" By SPLC

Via Truth Wins Out, we see that the Southern Poverty Law Center has released a piece profiling Of 18 anti-gay organizations and has announced that they will be adding 5 new organizations to their list of active anti-gay hate groups.

The new additions are:

1. American Family Association
2. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
3. Dove World Outreach Center
4. Family Research Council
5. Illinois Family Institute

The other anti-gay groups profiled by the SPLC but not offically designated as hate groups are:

1. Christian Anti-Defamation Commission
2. Concerned Women for America
3. Coral Ridge Ministries
4. Liberty Counsel
5. National Organization for Marriage

Given that SPLC make these designations "based on their propagation of known falsehoods...and repeated, groundless name-calling," how some other these other groups - like Matt Barber/Liberty Counsel and Robert Knight/Coral Ridge Ministries - managed to stay off the list of designated hate groups is a bit of a mystery.

American Principles Projects Withdraws From CPAC Due To GOProud

As we noted earlier today, GOProud's effort to get the GOP and the conservative movement in general to ignore the social issues at the core of the Religious Right's agenda is not going over very well.

And now comes the news that the American Principles Project, founded by the National Organization for Marriage's Robert George, has told the American Conservative Union that they will not participate in next year's CPAC because of GOProud's sponsorship:

I write to inform you that the American Principles Project has decided not to participate in the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to the planned participation of the organization known as GOProud.

...

Last year, of course, the American Principles Project participated in CPAC despite the presence of GOProud. That was a mistake, just as it was, in our opinion, a mistake for CPAC to countenance GOProud’s participation. Having now examined closely GOProud’s mission and its behavior since its inception, we can only conclude that the organization’s purposes are fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith in a thriving civil society. Needless to say, we are deeply persuaded that a thriving civil society is an indispensable bulwark against the relentless expansion of government, a phenomenon that has gripped much of the Western world and helped to fuel the present fiscal and economic crisis.

...

It is also clear that GOProud’s reason-to-be is built around a form of identity politics that conservative thought formally rejects because of its understanding of human nature. Each item on its broadly stated agenda can be pursued, and is being pursued, by groups that do not focus on such identity politics. Rather than join as individuals and be welcomed and respected into these groups, GOProud pursues policy outcomes that are rooted not in the broad conservative principles it claims to support but in the identity – in this case, sexual and behavioral identity – politics it advocates. This politics inevitably leads to outcomes that confront the conservative core, as Christopher Barron, chairman of GOProud, seemed to acknowledge in a statement to The Advocate in July 2010 that underscored his personal support for same-sex marriage and a long-term strategy to impose it.

But GOProud has done more than simply omit a core tenet of conservatism from its agenda. It has demonstrated that its agenda includes assaults on the very conservative leadership that has brought our movement a fresh opportunity to steer our nation once again onto the right course. At a time when the rest of the conservative movement has been focused on how to convert the overwhelming election victory of November 2 into a policy advance that strengthens both the economic and social underpinnings of our republic, GOProud has chosen this very hour to attempt to attack Sen. Jim DeMint and even question his place, and the place of those of us who share his socially conservative views, in the conservative movement ... What is at stake in your decision regarding the partnership of GOProud in next year's CPAC is precisely this: will CPAC embrace a deadening egalitarianism at the expense of marriage and the family as long-established social institutions? This is not a decision merely for one event but  a fundamental question for the integrity of the conservative cause.

Bob Vander Plaats Now Running The Religious Right Show In Iowa

Earlier this year, Bob Vander Plaats made an effort to secure the GOP nomination for Governor in Iowa and lost to Terry Branstad, prompting the right-wing state affiliate of Focus on the Family, the Iowa Family Policy Center, to announce that it was going to sit out the race.

Vander Plaats went on to head Iowa For Freedom and team up with national groups like the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, and American Family Association, as well as the Iowa Family Policy Center, in carrying out "God's will" by removing three state Supreme Court justices over the marriage equality ruling.

Fresh off that victory, Vander Plaats has now been placed in control over IFPC and its affiliated Marriage Matters and is bringing in Mike Huckabee to help raise much needed funds:

Even before the votes were counted last Tuesday, Vander Plaats already had his next move mapped out. Last month, the Board of Directors of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) named Vander Plaats the CEO of an organization called The Family Group, which oversees IFPC and Marriage Matters. A source told TheIowaRepublican.com that Vander Plaats signed a three-year contract that will pay him around $120,000 annually.

...

Ironically, the organization that Vander Plaats is taking over doesn’t look anything like the one that aided him in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Mike Hartwig, who has headed up Marriage Matters since its creation was shown the door. Likewise, Tom Steen, who was appointed by the Board of IFPC to be the organization’s Chief Operating Officer in March of 2009, is gone. So too is IFPC’s communications director, Bryan English.

Vander Plaats is now charged with turning around the organization. His chief responsibility will be raising money for the organization. Not only will he have to raise the necessary funds to pay his $120,000 a year salary, but he is also going to have to raise the funds to pay the salaries of longtime IFPC President Chuck Hurley, Vander Plaats will also have to fund the two staff positions that he created following the departures of those listed above.

All of this may explain why Vander Plaats didn’t use Mike Huckabee’s celebrity to aide with Iowa for Freedom’s campaign. Instead, Huckabee will headline a fundraising event for IFPC on November 21st at First Federated Church in Des Moines. The funds raised at this event will go towards covering IFPC’s operating expenses.

Chuck Hurley: "We Did God's Will" By Removing Iowa Supreme Court Justices

Outside anti-gay organizations like the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Alliance Defense Fund, Faith & Freedom Coalition and National Organization for Marriage spent more than $1 million targeting three Iowa Supreme Court justices for defeat over the court's ruling in favor of marriage equality ... and I can't say that I am surprised that the effort paid off:

Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday in a historic upset fueled by their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry.

Vote totals from 96% of Iowa's 1,774 precincts showed Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit with less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench.

Their removal marked the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted.

So, of course, the professional anti-gay activists are busy congratulating themselves for having carried out God's will:

[F]ollowing Tuesday night's election, Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), informed OneNewsNow those judges will soon be out of a job.

"So we're praising God; we're thanking all the Iowans who stood up to judicial tyranny," he shares. "It's great news in Iowa, and it's great news for the country that judges don't have to lord it over us. 'We the people' are the ultimate authority."

The pro-family advocate adds that one of the most heartening aspects of the campaign was the fact that hundreds of pastors across the state spoke out about the issue.

"God is our ultimate authority, and we think that we did God's will by standing up to the three judges who would try to redefine God's institution and say that marriage is anything other than one man and one woman," Hurley explains.

The Boys on the Bus, Religious Right Style

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins hosted a conference call for FRC activists to hear from Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. Perkins, who recently said gay teens commit suicide because they know they’re abnormal, is in Iowa, where he has joined the FRC-National Organization for Marriage bus tour that is targeting state Supreme Court judges who ruled last year favor of marriage equality. While it was a unanimous decision, Religious Right groups are urging voters to reject the three justices who are up for retention this year.  Gohmert spent some time with the Iowa bus earlier this week. Gohmert and Perkins mocked the pro-equality judges, saying they hadn’t studied law or biology if they thought there was no difference between a man and a woman and a man and a man.

Most of today’s call focused on the elections and on how right-wing activists can make sure the crop of new Republican lawmakers doesn’t abandon their principles when they get to Washington. Gohmert was actually harder on the GOP than Perkins, complaining about the Party’s leadership, saying they didn’t understand that they had made mistakes by pushing Republicans into supporting the financial bailout and failing to fight harder against the hate crimes act, which, said Gohmert, “pushed us so far down toward the dustbin of history.” He sighed when asked about the House Republicans’ much-ballyhooed “Pledge to America,” saying that while it was beautifully written, it avoided social issues and failed to include real commitments to move legislation and deadlines for achieving progress.
 
Gohmert insisted that Republicans “can’t compromise on principle” and warned against getting “weak-kneed.” He said the principles that made the country great are faith in God, devotion to the traditional family,  and a hard work ethic. He worried that if Republicans win a majority and don’t deliver, Tea Party activists may just decide to abandon the GOP and start a third party, which would help the Democrats take back control. 
 
Perkins bragged that FRC Action is expanding its reach and said its Faith, Family & Freedom fund was active in “five or six” states with hot congressional and senate races. He said he believes that there’s an “awakening” among Americans who understand that they have a responsibility to determine the future of their country – and that if they populate the GOP with enough good people they can reform the party.
 
Gohmert, who recently said that God has ordained Christians to run the country, sounded a similar theme on today’s call. He said God gives the sword to government to punish evil, and urged “true Romans 13-believing Christians” to understand that America’s founders set things up so that the people are the government. “We are given the sword in this country.” He told them that God had blessed American Christians and that they’re expected to use the sword of government and hire (elect) servants (public officials) “to do what we tell them.”

Right Wing Iowa Bus Tour Really About Restraining Homosexuality

The Religious Right groups that are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in Iowa in an effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices because of the Court's ruling in favor of marriage equality are trying to claim that the effort isn't so much about homosexuality as it is about "judicial activism." 

But, of course, that's not true because everything they do is about homosexuality and the desire to use state power to eliminate it:

On a blustery basketball court at Southside Park, leaders in the push to oust three justices for their role in a decision that legalized gay marriage in Iowa — led by the Washington, D.C., based Family Research Council and the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage – departed a touring “Judge Bus” emblazoned with “vote no” slogans and spoke to a crowd of about 15 people.

Gay marriage is tearing society asunder, and the decision to allow it runs afoul of the Constitution, said Chuck Hurley, president of the highly influential Christian organization Iowa Family Policy Center, which is a local affiliate of the Family Research Council.

“It’s a degradation of God’s best design for the family,” said Hurley, who was on the tour representing the center’s political action arm.

Hurley said gay activity degrades and alters the family structure, concluding that the debate is about stable homes.

“An intact father-and- mother marriage is by far more important than a good education, by far more important than their physical health in the well-being of a child,” Hurley said.

Hurley goes further than opposition to gay marriage, though.

“For millennia every sane culture has had restraints on behavior,” Hurley said.

Stable societies have always had restraints on incest and pedophilia, he said, and that should extend to homosexual acts as well.

“Every culture should have safe and sane laws regarding sexuality,” Hurley said.

Targeting Iowa Judges To Send A Message To the Supreme Court

Following in the wake of Judge Vaughan Walker's ruling in the Prop 8 case, Chuck Colson declared that the Religious Right must prevent the Supreme Court from ever ruling in favor of gay marriage by building a groundswell of opposition in order to convince the Court that any ruling recognizing the right to marriage equality will not be accepted by the people.

Today, the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown was on "Wallbuilders Live" with David Barton and Rick Green and explained that the effort to unseat three judges in Iowa was part of an effort to send just that sort of signal to the Supreme Court:

Barton: I guarantee you, if these judges can be thrown off in Iowa, you watch as state after state after state as people start going and saying "time for accountability, time to get our government back." I'm loving it, it's going to be fun.

Green: It's great, this is really opening the flood gate in a very positive way.

Brown: Many people that have commented on what we're going through right now, especially with the Proposition 8 case in California, are looking at the Iowa judicial retention election - and even though there are many important elections about the country - they're actually saying this is the most important election because it will send a clear signal to the Supreme Court and other judges that they don't have the right to make up the law out of thin air. Their job is to interpret the law, it is not to be out robed masters and judicial activists imposing their will on the rest of us.

And so if the people of Iowa do what I think they'll do and stand up and remove these judges, there will be reverberations throughout the country all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

And just in case you were operating under the delusion that the Religious Right would actually accept any Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality, rest assured that they most certainly will not:

Brown: Ultimately if this Perry vs Schwarzenegger case out of California goes to the Supreme Court - and I'm confident that we will win at the Supreme Court - but if we were to lose and if the Supreme Court was to force same-sex marriage on, for example, Texas or Alabama or states that have voted by something like seventy-five percent to support marriage as a union of a man and woman and you have the US Supreme Court throwing out the vote of these states, I think you're going to have a strong movement for a federal marriage amendment. And that would also be a very clear sign to the courts that they are bound by the law and they don't have the right to simply put into law their own personal preferences.

You also have under Article III in the Constitution the idea that Congress could limit the appellate jurisdiction of some of these federal courts, so that's another way in which, that's already in our law, that Congress could limit the ability of the federal courts to force same-sex marriage on the rest of the country, or any other issue on which the court's overstepping its bounds.

Bob Vander Plaats Makes His Nonsensical Case for Removing Iowa's Justices

Last night, the Iowa Independent and Simpson College hosted a forum to discuss the right-wing effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices because of the court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage earlier this year.

Iowa for Freedom chairman Bob Vander Plaats was among the participants and dominated much of the conversation until, as the Iowa Independent reports, issues came up that he didn't want to address:

At two times during the debate, Vander Plaats seemed to be at a loss of words and side-stepped questions from his fellow panelists. When the issue of Iowa for Freedom’s funding came up, he refused to answer McCormick’s question of where his organization’s funds come from. The Mississippi-based American Family Association contributes the overwhelming majority of funding for Iowa for Freedom, and New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for TV ads attacking the judges.

The second moment was when the panelists discussed the equal protection clause in both the Iowa and U.S. constitutions. For much of the debate, Vander Plaats dismissed the clause, using examples of property or gun rights to object to the theory. However, McCormick brought up Brown v. Board of Education as a paramount case that the clause was used. Contrary to Vander Plaats position that courts should not use the clause, he said the use of the equal protection clause is appropriate for civil rights cases including Varnum. Allbee added the social criticism of the Brown case sounds eerily similar to that which is used against the Varnum ruling.

But one issue that Vander Plaats was more than willing to address was the "slippery slope" that the court's ruling would lead to incest and the end of private property:

In their own opinion they discriminated against people who want to be polygamous. They discriminate against people who want to be bisexual - one man, one woman. They discriminate, in their own opinion, against someone who wants to marry their own child.

Now we'd say there's laws on the books that say you can't do that - well, there's laws on the books that said you can't marry same-sex couples; they didn't care about that either. So why stop there? You're putting discrimination in your own opinion.

Where I sense a slippery slope is this, and my father in law would agree with me. My father in law owns way more land than I do and I believe in the right to private property. But under the equal protection provision, why can't I have some of his land?

I have friends who home-school their children, who send their kids to private school - I send my kids to public school. Why wouldn't I argue that's a violation of equal protection - they all should send them to public school.

If a court can make that ruling for you, it'll determine your private property. I mean if they'll do this for marriage, they won't even blink an eye for private property, or Second Amendment, or any other issue at stake. This is why this is such a critical, critical election and why we have people all over the state agreeing with us, not because of the marriage issue, but because if you allow a court to be activist in nature, your freedoms are gone.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/20

Sharron Angle

Terrorism: Angle refuses to apologize to Canadian Ambassador who condemned Angle for saying that terrorists are crossing into the US from Canada (AP, 10/19).

Latinos: Says that Latino students, and herself, look Asian (NYDN, 10/19).

Ad: Claims that Harry Reid is in “the conga line” with Michelle Obama (Slate, 10/19).

Fundraising: Spent over $5 million on fundraising (Salon, 10/18).

Palin: MissesTea Party Express kickoff with Palin, who praises Angle and slams Reid (Nevada News Bureau, 10/18).

Ken Buck

Religious Right: Claims that homosexuality, “like alcoholism,” is a choice (KDVR, 10/19).

Poll: New data shows Buck losing lead, in dead heat with Bennet (HuffPo, 10/19).

Women: Stands by comparison of rape allegation to “buyers remorse (Daily Kos, 10/18).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: Courage Campaign asks Fiorina to refuse support from National Organization for Marriage in internet ad (YubaNet, 10/19).

Government: Can’t name spending programs she would cut (LA Times, 10/18).

Palin: Skips rally with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele (NYT, 10/17).

Experience: Fortune magazine exposes Fiorina’s failed record running Lucent Technology (Fortune, 10/15).

Ad: Boxer hits Fiorina for backing Palin, offshore drilling, and repeal of assault weapon ban (Boxer, 10/15).

Joe Miller

GOP: NRSC spends $162,000 on ads to help Miller (WaPo, 10/19).

Ethics: Admits he broke ethics rules while working for Fairbanks; judge set to rule on disclosing more information (ADN, 10/19).

Security: Miller’s security firm under investigation for arresting reporter (Alaska Dispatch, 10/19).

Immigration: Cites East Germany as a success in wall-building (Mediaite, 10/19).

Debate: Skips debate with McAdams and Murkowski (ADN, 10/18).

Christine O’Donnell

Constitution: Questions Separation of Church and State, stumped on the content of 14th and 16th Amendments (ThinkProgress, 10/19).

Taxes: Chris Coons claims that O’Donnell can’t prove assertion that the Democrat wants a $10,000 tax increase (News Journal, 10/19).

Media: Jeffrey Shaffer looks into “Christine O'Donnell and the rise of cable TV politics” (Christian Science Monitor, 10/19).

Rand Paul

Poll: Democratic poll shows Paul trailing Conway by 2% (WaPo, 10/19).

Debate: Heated debate with Jack Conway, might back out of next one (McClatchy, 10/18).

Religion: Conway ad on “Aqua Buddha” spurs debate on religion (NYT, 10/18).

Marco Rubio

Debate: Crist dubs Rubio an “extreme right-wing candidate” in debate (Miami Herald, 10/19).

Outside groups: American Crossroads spends big to back Rubio (The Ledger, 10/18).

Palin: Campaigns with Sarah Palin and Michael Steele on Saturday (Politico, 10/18).

Pat Toomey

Outside groups: Club for Growth, formerly led by Toomey, set to expand pro-Toomey ad campaign (Washington Independent, 10/19).

Tea Party: AP looks into how Toomey won backing from both the tea party and GOP establishment (AP, 10/19).

Poll: Loses lead, now in dead heat with Joe Sestak (LA Times, 10/19).

FRC, NOM, Santorum Team Up To Target Iowa Judges

The Family Research Council and National Organization for Marriage today announced the launch of a "Judge Bus Tour" that will travel across Iowa as part of the campaign to remove three Supreme Court Justices: 

Family Research Council Action and the National Organization for Marriage today announced the "Judge Bus Tour" that next week will make 20 stops, travel over 1,300 miles, and pass through 45 of Iowa's 99 counties.

Former Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown and other state and national leaders will urge Iowans to restore the constitution by voting "no retention" on activist judges who last year forced same-sex "marriage" on the state. The tour will kick off on Monday, October 25 at the state capitol and conclude at a Thursday evening rally in front of the Iowa Supreme Court building.

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

"The Iowa Supreme Court ruled as irrelevant millennia of tradition and the views of a large majority of Iowans that marriage is and always should be between one man and one woman. This is not the court's role. The legislature makes the law. The governor executes the law. The job of the courts is to apply, not reinterpret, the law.

"If the Iowa Supreme Court will do this to marriage, every one of our freedoms, including gun rights and private property, is in danger of being undermined by activist judges who are unelected officials. Most Americans believe that government is out-of-control. Now is the time to take a stand against the radical judicial activism of the Iowa Supreme Court.

"On Election Day, we believe Iowans will vote to restore the constitution by voting 'NO' on activist judges Marsha K. Ternus, Michael J. Streit, and David L. Baker," concluded Perkins.

The Warped Feminism of the Susan B. Anthony List

Although a number of media narratives describe 2010 election as revealing the rise of conservative woman, the "Awakening of the Conservative Woman," or the "Year of the Mama Grizzly," and what Sarah Palin calls “the emerging conservative, feminist identity,” it’s easy to forget that women have always played a prominent role in the conservative movement: Phyllis Schlafly, Clare Boothe Luce, and Beverly LaHaye, just to name a few.

But are women really running to embrace the rightwing agenda in 2010? Most polls show that the growing support for Republican candidates is a result of disproportionate backing from men, while Democrats still lead among women voters; Sarah Palin, the foremost Republican woman, is viewed favorably by an abysmally low 22% of Americans. But it is true that more and more women are running as Republicans for elected office, and the Religious Right has embraced the fiercely anti-choice Republican Senate candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Kelly Ayotte and Carly Fiorina. While it is difficult to say that women are turning to the GOP, at least one group is pushing the narrative that women will be at the center of the Right’s resurgence.

The Susan B. Anthony List was founded by Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham, two women long-tied to Republican politics and anti-choice activism. Dannenfelser compared her fight against “the oligarchy of pro-choice women” to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign against second-class citizenship for women, and claims that Susan B. Anthony and the original women’s movement were all “strongly pro-life.”

Of course, real  historians and experts have thoroughly debunked Dannenfelser’s interpretation of women’s history: “Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies.” But the SBA List is now appropriating the legacy of Anthony and the women’s movement to serve their political agenda.

In 2010, SBA List has become a critical voice in the Religious Right in not only transforming the notion of “feminism” but also running extremely deceptive political ads. The group teamed up with the National Organization for Marriage to launch a $200,000 ad campaign against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer targeted at the Latino community, claiming that Boxer opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Naturally, PolitiFact rated their anti-Boxer ad to be “false” and “highly misleading,” as the Senator is one of the leading advocates of immigrant-rights in Washington.

Now, SBA List has just initiated a campaign targeting anti-choice Democrats who voted in favor of Health Care Reform by employing the immensely discredited and deceptive charge that the new law leads to “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Politico reports that the group plans to spend millions of dollars on television and radio advertisements, billboards, and a bus tour. SBA List has invested heavily in Carly Fiorina of California, New Hampshire GOP nominee Kelly Ayotte, a star of the anti-abortion rights movement, and said that the ultraconservative Nevada Republican Sharron Angle represents an “authentic, pro-life feminism that puts the ‘feminine’ back in the word” who would make “Susan B. Anthony proud.” Yes, the SBA List has such a warped view of feminism that they call the same Sharron Angle who described the situation of a girl impregnated by her father as “really [turning] a lemon situation into lemonade” an “authentic” feminist. Their other top candidate, State Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana who is running for the House, is a staunch Religious Right advocate who notoriously sunk hate-crimes legislation by trying to add “fetuses” as a protected class of citizens.

Sarah Palin has emerged as the symbolic head of SBA List, and the group founded the Team Sarah website to attract more women to their brand of “feminism.” “It’s only natural that women like these are responding to someone like Sarah Palin,” writes Dannenfelser, and “now millions of Americans, men and women, are going to the polls to make 2010 not only the Year of the Pro-Life Woman but the dawn of the Decade of Pro-Life Women.”

While SBA List’s view of feminism is different from the more openly anti-feminist groups like Eagle Forum and the Independent Women’s Forum, the groups essentially share the same reactionary ideas and principles. SBA List merely cloaks their anti-women’s rights agenda around a right-wing understanding of “feminism” and a misconstrued view of history.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/06

Sharron Angle

Tea Party: Blasts GOP establishment while talking up “juice” with Senate leaders in talk with Nevada Tea Party nominee (WaPo, 10/4).

Poll: Fox News poll showing Angle up by 3% criticized as weighted towards conservatives (LVRG, 10/5).

Government: Claims that Sharia law is on the march and that “government isn't what our founding fathers put into the Constitution” (PFAW Blog, 10/1).

Ad: New ad maliciously attacks Harry Reid over illegal immigration, DREAM Act (KVVU, 10/5).

Ken Buck

Poll: Bennet leads Buck by 1% in new Colorado poll (Public Policy Polling, 10/5).

Religious Right: Reverses himself on Personhood Amendment, which would ban abortion (CBS, 10/4).

Outside groups: Race leads the nation in spending from outside groups (Denver Post, 10/5).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: National Organization for Marriage launches bus tour for Fiorina to win over Latino voters (OC Weekly, 10/4).

Ad: RNC donates $2 million to help put Fiorina back on the air (Oakland Tribune, 10/4).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 4% in latest Reuters/Ipsos poll of California voters (Reuters, 10/5).

Joe Miller

Government: Supports repeal of the 17th Amendment, seeks term limits Amendment (News-Miner, 10/5).

Palin: Attempted to block “troopergate” investigation of Palin (Alaska Dispatch, 10/1).

2012: Todd Palin angry that Miller refuses to confirm if Sarah Palin is qualified to be president (Salon, 10/5).

Unemployment: Although he seeks their elimination, his wife received unemployment (HuffPo, 10/5).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express releases ad targeting Murkowski (The Hill, 10/4).

Christine O’Donnell

China: In 2006, said that China plotted overthrow of US (WaPo, 10/5).

Ad: Tells viewers “I’m not a witch; I’m nothing you’ve heard: I’m you” in new ad (ABC, 10/4).

Rand Paul

Government: Claims Medicaid leads to “intergenerational welfare” (Lexington Herald Leader, 10/4).

Social Security: Suggests raising retirement age in debate (Salon, 10/2).

Ad: DSCC blasts Paul for $2,000 Medicare deductible proposal, non-Kentucky ties (DSCC, 10/5).

Controversy: Calls Conway ad that features father of drug-abuse victim “creepy” (AP, 10/1).

Marco Rubio

Social Security: New Crist ad blasts Rubio for supporting retirement age increase (The Page, 10/5).

Religious Right: Wins endorsement of Florida Right to Life (LifeNews, 10/4).

Finances: New questions raised about Rubio’s expenses (Sun Sentinel, 10/4).

Pat Toomey

Wall Street: MoJo looks into Toomey’s past in derivatives trading (Mother Jones, 10/5).

Social Security: Stands by privatizing Social Security (Crooks and Liars, 9/29).

Maine Candidate Does Not Appreciate Being Linked to "Really Creepy" NOM Mailers

Brian Hale is a pastor and also the Republican candidate for House District 85 in Maine and has recently begun receiving some help from the National Organization for Marriage ... unwanted help, as it turns out, because Hale does not appreciate being associated with the anti-gay mailers that NOM is sending out:

The two-sided flier features a smiling family of four with a "Welcome to Maine, the way life should be" placard and a single photograph of Hale. Hale said the family in the picture is not even his family.

On the flip side of the flier is a photograph of [incumbent Rep. Jeffre] McCabe, with his e-mail address and two men in bow ties, arm-in-arm, appearing atop a wedding cake.

"Now it's time to let Jeff McCabe know we don't agree with his decision to back same-sex marriage," the flier reads.

...

Hale says he supports traditional marriage, meaning a union between a man and a woman, but said his campaign did not send the fliers.

"I think this is tasteless; I'm not enjoying this," Hale said Monday. "I think this is an incidence of friendly fire -- someone thought they were helping me and they're not. I'm running as a fiscal conservative -- that's what I'm going around talking to people about. I'm not running an anti-gay campaign. The first time that I heard anything about this or its contents is when I pulled it out of my mailbox."

Hale said he showed the flier to his wife and daughters and they agreed that it was inappropriate. His 16-year-old daughter Hanna called it "really creepy," he said.

"People are thinking I am the one who put this out," Hale said. "I can see how one might understand that -- it has my photo on it and my e-mail address, both of which I believe were pulled off the Internet. People are seeing this and saying, 'Pastor Hale is a homophobe' -- and I'm not."

...

Hale said his campaign literature has the state-mandated "paid for and authorized by the committee to elect Brian Hale," while the fliers do not. The return address on the fliers is for the National Organization for Marriage, based in Washington D.C., a group that opposes same-sex marriage.

Right Wing Leftovers

LaBarbera Turns On NOM Over DADT

When the debate over the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell was going on a few weeks back, the National Organization for Marriage-affiliated "Protect Marriage: One Man, One Woman" raised a few eyebrows with a Tweet that came out in support of repealing DADT:

There is no need to prohibit gays and lesbians from openly serving in the Armed Forces. They should have the opportunity to serve.

This, of course, has outraged Peter LaBarbera, who now has NOM in his sights

I couldn’t believe this item, which we are late to report: the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the leading pro-traditional-marriage group in the country, has come out for allowing open homosexuals in the military (see Sept. 9th NOM tweet above).

This is the latest exercise in “pro-family” political and strategic folly. For all the great work that it does, NOM is dead wrong on this one. In addition to degrading morale, cohesion and discipline in the Armed Forces, creating an officially pro-homosexual U.S. military would establish a new, federal government-enforced ”civil rights” paradigm that would be used to push the homosexual agenda on the rest of the nation. That of course includes same-sex “marriage” and punishing/”re-educating” moral opponents of homosexuality. I doubt that NOM would support tradition-minded, Christian soldiers and sailors from Small Town America being subjected to radical, pro-homosexual “diversity” lectures — but that’s what’s coming if NOM’s regrettable tweet comes to pass.

Can’t NOM see that it is undercutting its own cause (and the truth) by pandering to the ”Gay” Lobby’s goal of homosexuality as a state-backed “civil right”? Long before “gay marriage” became a major issue, “sexual orientation” laws created the legal basis for punishing moral critics of sodomy. And let’s be clear: when pro-family marriage advocates talk up “equal rights for gays and lesbians” (as the Prop 8 appeal brief does here), they are engaged in a dangerous double-game — because so many homosexual ideologues believe their “right” to be approved as a homosexual supersedes YOUR right to disagree with their lifestyle. It’s a zero-sum game between “gay rights” and religious/moral rights, as lesbian lawyer and Obama EEOC appointee Chai Feldblum puts it; of course, she thinks “gays” should win and Christians should lose in most cases. In that sense, GLBT activists like Feldblum are pro-discrimination, even as they tout ”equality.”

Our constitutional rights come ultimately from God. Homosexuality, like all sin, is against God’s will (and against Nature). Therefore, it cannot be the basis for “constitutional” rights.

LaBarbera is livid that NOM is apparently throwing anti-gay activists such as himself under the bus and accuses the group of assisting "liberals in castigating the more principled fighters against the homosexual agenda as somehow 'bigoted' and extreme" and is therefore demanding that NOM refuse to "support ANY aspect of the larger homosexual agenda even as it continues its important work protecting traditional marriage."

UPDATE: It looks like LaBarbera has removed this post,  as the original link now returns only a "page not found" message.

National Organization for Marriage on the attack in New Hampshire

Republican Presidential hopefuls aren’t the only ones going to New Hampshire to take down Democratic governor John Lynch: the National Organization for Marriage is launching a $425,000 ad campaign to oppose the governor. In June of last year, Governor Lynch signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, which put him in NOM’s crosshairs. NOM has also spent $235,000 attacking members of Iowa’s Supreme Court, which unanimously decided that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the state constitution, who are up for a retention vote. Moreover, the group spent tens of thousands of dollars in unsuccessful efforts to defeat members of the DC Council that voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Hopefully, their ads in New Hampshire will be just as "memorable" as their Gathering Storm ad. NOM will surely utilize the same deceptive tactics and bigoted rhetoric present in their other ads, especially since they are working with the New Hampshire group Cornerstone Action, the political arm of the state’s foremost Religious Right organization. Cornerstone Action believes that adultery should be a criminal offense, and in 2007 their executive director claimed that same-sex couples are “unnatural” and worked to oppose civil unions as an “acceptance of a behavior that is jeopardizing the health of our children.” Without a doubt, the gubernatorial race in New Hampshire will be another test of NOM’s plans to defeat public officials who back LGBT equality.

Right Wing Round-Up

NOM Loses Big in DC

We noted a few days ago that the National Organization for Marriage was desperately trying to get something of value from the money it was pouring into DC elections. Now we know what they got: not much.

NOM-supported mayoral candidate Leo Alexander got less than one percent of the vote. And Ward 5 candidate Delano Hunter, the primary beneficiary of NOM’s spending, ended up with only 20 percent in his bid to unseat Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas. That translates into 3,091 votes with 16 of 18 Ward 5 precincts reporting.
 
During the campaign, Hunter bristled when it was suggested that NOM was bankrolling him, saying he’d received only $450 from the group. That may have been true in terms of direct contributions, but NOM’s Eight-day Pre-primary report filed with the DC Board of Elections and Ethics shows that even before the final week of the campaign NOM had spent nearly $1000 for robo-calls on Hunter’s behalf, nearly $15,000 for production and distribution of flyers, nearly $15,000 for direct mail, and more than $1500 for pro-Hunter palm cards.  
 
The same pre-primary report shows that NOM gave $36,950 to Bob King in August for production and distribution of flyers targeting every elected DC official running for office who had supported marriage equality. That comes on top of almost $80,000 NOM reported paying King in July and more than $60,000 reported on a June finance report.

 

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National Organization for Marriage Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 11/14/2012, 6:05pm
Brian Camenker’s group MassResistance is out with its analysis of the Religious Right’s failure in four states to ban same-sex marriage, and has concluded that equality opponents simply weren’t anti-gay enough. They accused the National Organization for Marriage and others of going to “great lengths not to criticize homosexuality” when they should have been working to “persuade the public through advertising that homosexual behavior was perverse, dysfunctional, and unhealthy” and exposing “the destructive nature of homosexual relationships.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 11/08/2012, 4:42pm
Election Day was a disaster for the National Organization for Marriage: it lost in all four states in which marriage equality was on the ballot in some way; it failed to take out another Iowa Supreme Court justice who had ruled in favor of equality; and it failed in its mission to defeat Barack Obama. NOM’s answer to all the above is a new book that Brian Brown calls “the strongest pro-marriage argument ever written.”  Brown says the book What is Marriage? “demolishes the usual objections to our cause.”   Brown says it’s “... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 11/08/2012, 3:40pm
Dejected, downcast and angry, conservatives have begun attacking the media and other Christians for not signing on to the anti-Obama campaign, maintaining that Obama’s re-election proves that America is experiencing moral breakdown. Family Research Council head Tony Perkins told talk show host Janet Mefferd that the election results reveal “symptoms of a deeper moral and spiritual problem that we’re facing in our nation,” and beseeched Christians not to just “go on the mountaintop and just wait for the Rapture.” We wrestle with these political issues but... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 11/07/2012, 5:45pm
William Owens of the virulently anti-gay Coalition of African-American Pastors and the National Organization for Marriage talked to Sandy Rios and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association for their organization’s election night special about the “unbelievable” impact if Maryland voters approve their state’s marriage equality law, which did indeed pass. He said if we “change God’s law” by legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption then “the whole gamut of the family is going to be destroyed and all areas of the social life will be... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/23/2012, 5:48pm
Paul @ PFAW Blog: Log Cabin Republicans Endorse Mitt Romney. Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: Don Mendell Is NOM’s Newest “Anti-Defamation” Star. Alex Seitz-Wald @ Salon: Todd Akin’s militia ties exposed. Max Greenberg @ Shauna Theel @ Media Matters: Economists Shoot Down Fox News' "Ridiculous" Gas Price Fable. Hayes Brown @ Think Progress: Conservatives Panic Over ‘U.N.-Affiliated’ Election Monitors. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Eyeing an Ahmadinejad 'indictment.' MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/12/2012, 11:40am
William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors and the National Organization for Marriage’s religious liaison is hoping that his anti-Obama, anti-gay campaign will pay off in November by pulling black voters away from supporting Obama. While sitting down with Jamilah Lemieux of Ebony, Owens said that black voters are turning against Obama “because [our site] had nearly 90 thousand hits and 85 percent of the people are on our side on this issue” and also told Lemieux that “there isn’t such thing as separation as church and state.” Owens... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 10/11/2012, 3:50pm
Today, the National Organization for Marriage’s religious liaison William Owens appeared on Today’s Issues with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins and American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, who spent much of the time talking to Owens about how because of the President’s stance on marriage equality black voters are now turning against Obama (they’re not) and that there is no way Obama is a Christian. Owens later claimed that not only is Obama not a Christian but also that his Democratic Party is a “demonic party” that must be stopped.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 10/05/2012, 10:39am
This week, on the eve of the first presidential debate, right-wing media, led by the Drudge Report, the Daily Caller, and Fox News, hyped a supposedly secret video that they dubbed “the other race speech.”  Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity tried desperately to portray the video as “explosive” footage that the liberal media had deliberately hid from voters to protect Barack Obama. Religious Right leaders played their part, with Liberty Counsel’s ludicrous Matt Barber demanding, “Romney simply must make ad upon ad out of this devastating video exposing... MORE >