Sunday, October 12, 2014

With equality in NC NOM has NOTHING to show for their entire existence

NOM's 2012 Bigotry Promo

National Organization for Marriage and Brian Brown had yet another very-bad-day-that-sucked. Late Friday afternoon a federal judge struck down North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban. The case is UCC v. Cooper. As Equality on Trial reported, the judge wrote (emphasis added):
The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue. It is a legal issue and it is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage, refusing to recognize same sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threatening to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional.
The judge has also dismissed all pending motions. One, on behalf of the Republican legislature, was probably written by John Eastman, NOM's chairman. That warms my heart with a “fuck you” chuckle.

2012 was to be the year during which NOM intended to crush the marriage equality movement. North Carolina was just the beginning. Constitutional Amendment One, banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, was a NOM project managed by NOM's adjunct political director, Frank Schubert. In addition to Schubert's fees (estimated at $10,000 to $20,000 per month just for NC) NOM dumped over $425,000 into the marriage discrimination campaign. People who contributed substantial sums to NOM must be questioning their own judgment. Schubert got paid and he can always go back to representing Big Tobacco.

Patrick L. Wooden
Patrick L. Wooden
Some of you may recall that the battle over North Carolina Amendment One was an ugly campaign. The state Republicans put their thumb on the scale by setting the referendum voting date to coincide with the GOP presidential primary on May 8, 2012. The campaign had the support of the Roman Catholic Bishops who assured us, de rigeur, that they valued everyone's dignity. Sure.

Much of the Christian vitriol came from “Dr.” Patrick L. Wooden (the doctorate is phony), Pastor of Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh. Wooden was fond of saying that when it came to civil rights “my beautiful blackness” cannot be compared to “homosexual perversion.” After Amendment One passed, Wooden was greeted with a standing ovation by his congregation.

Meanwhile Sean Harris, senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, was speaking about his support for Amendment One when he was heard to say:
Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you rein her in. And you say, 'Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'
Amendment One was never about anything tangible in the first place. Either way North Carolina already banned same-sex marriage. This was seen, by some, as a varietal rerun in Dixie of the Proposition 8 contest four years earlier. In 2010 Judge Vaughn Walker delivered his withering opinion nullifying Prop 8. Walker which was upheld by the Ninth Circuit panel and en banc.

In 2012 North Carolina Amendment One was just a pre-election day spring appetizer. Having always been successful at the polls they expected that six months later, in the general election, they would prevail in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. On May 8, when it became obvious that they would win in North Carolina, the NOM folks were elated over two tweets from Public Policy Polling:
National Organization for Marriage had far greater ambitions than the four contests that they expected to win in November. NOM was going to be instrumental in putting Mitt Romney in the White House and it all began in North Carolina.

On May 9, Jeffrey Bell (policy director at Robby George's American Principles Project) wrote in the Weekly Standard:
Yesterday’s overwhelming approval of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions by the voters of North Carolina underlines the growing likelihood that the issue will be a major factor in the 2012 presidential election.
That same day, NOM's blog reported a statement by Thomas Peters:
“North Carolina once again reminds us that there is an unshakeable majority of Americans firmly wedded to the idea of traditional marriage,” said Thomas Peters, cultural director of the National Organization for Marriage. “We look forward to seeing that movement grow in the months ahead.”
On May 11, 2012 Brian Brown wrote:
What a week it's been!

As you know, it started with a resounding 22-point victory in North Carolina, which became the thirty-first state to amend their constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

This is a BIG victory! As the first of five states likely to vote on marriage this year, North Carolina set the tone and gives the defenders of traditional marriage some significant momentum.
Later that year, in September, Brian Brown did a radio interview in which he said that North Carolina had been the key to everything:
We just won in North Carolina by 61% -- 61% to support a strong marriage amendment. Just looking at it politically this is a state President Obama needs to win and being on the wrong side of 6-in-10 voters right when you're going to have your Democratic National Convention there and the Democrats are going to put an endorsement of same-sex marriage in their plank? This is a very bad idea and I think what you're going to see ... you're going to lose these key swing states. You're going to lose Ohio, you're going to lose North Carolina.
I suspect that Mr. Brown had designs on being influential in the Romney West Wing and, perhaps, even in the Oval Office. Brown was to become A Person of Importance® in a Mitt Romney administration. NOM was more that relevant and Brian Brown was on his way to becoming an A-Lister in Washington, DC. Or so he thought.

And now it's all gone. Much to my surprise we won all four ballot contests in November, 2012. One of those would nullify the Schubert/Brown win in Maine. Obama won and NOM also lost a retention election in Iowa. In the summer of 2013 the United States Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit's conclusion on Article III standing. That left Judge Vaughn Walker's decision in the Proposition 8 case as law and Prop 8 was history. Now this last vestige of NOM's political successes is finished.

National Organization for Marriage is now attempting to achieve renewed relevance through a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Mr. Brown probably sees himself (perhaps with Schubert) managing a 50 state campaign for ratification. Brian does believe his own bullshit. That enterprise is most certainly DOA in Congress regardless of Republican gains this November. Ted Cruz's support won't change the basic arithmetic.

I suspect that many of those same North Carolina voters will come to wonder what all the fuss was about. They will soon learn what residents of every other equality state have learned; Gay marriage only affects those who are gay married. Gay marriages commenced almost immediately.

Hopefully we have seen the very last of these ballot contests. I think that they have put unnecessary stress on gay teens who are already under enough pressure, particularly in red states. Imagine being a gay kid watching TV and being constantly subjected to the subliminal message that you are an evil pervert destined for Hell.

In the end though, as of October 10, 2014 (two years, five months and two days since the Amendment One referendum), gay citizens of North Carolina and their children and their families are victorious and, perhaps, that's all that counts. The good citizens of North Carolina have a choice. Are these gay and lesbian couples not their good neighbors?

As for NOM they have now spent nearly $75 million on their campaigns and they have nothing to show for it. Nothing.

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