Pam Spaulding

National Organization for Marriage's new tactic: fear-mongering without using the word 'religion'

Filed By Pam Spaulding | April 08, 2009 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: gay marriage, Human Rights Campaign, Iowa, marriage equality, National Organization for Marriage, rightwing nutjobs

These folks have nothing left in the tool box after the Iowa ruling decimated the excuse that religious opposition should govern civil law. So now the folks at the National Organization for Marriage have decided to send out e-blasts and a new video that uses a multi-racial set of actors to portray the aggrieved heterosexuals affected by same-sex couples being allowed to marry.

You might laugh at these fundnuts, but they are crafty, and don't mind continuing to promote outright lies and deception, as you will see below, to make their point to less-informed people out there. Watch the video after the jump.

There's a storm gathering...
The clouds are dark, the wind is strong...
And I am afraid...
Some who advocate for same-sex marriage are taking the issue far beyond same-sex couples...
They want to bring the issue into my life...
My freedom will be taken away...
I'm a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job...
I'm part of a NJ church group punished by the government because we can't support same-sex marriage...
I'm a Massachusetts parent helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is OK...
But some who advocate for same-sex marriage have not been content with same-sex couples living as they wish...
Those advocates want to change the way I live...
I will have no choice...
The storm is coming...

Damon Owens (of NOM): But we have hope...a rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color are coming together in love to protect marriage. Visit Nation for Join us.

Jeremy's video response at Good As You blasts it lie by lie. One Iowa has a petition up -- opposing the use of out-of-state money to attack the rights of Iowans.

As Right Wing Watch and TipsQ note, the e-blast from NOM's Brian Brown is straining to make this a civil rights issue for the persecuted "Christians" without bringing up religion - check out "undermines the core civil rights."

By only one vote, the Vermont House just voted to override Governor Douglas's veto, overturning the common sense definition of marriage shared by people of diverse faiths, backgrounds, nations, and political parties. Today is truly a sad day for Vermont and this nation.

But we take heart in knowing that this vote was not representative of what Vermonters understand marriage to be. We know that the Vermont Legislature did everything in its power to avoid allowing Vermonters to vote directly on the future of marriage.

In the wake of the Iowa Supreme Court decision and Vermont Legislature's action, the National Organization for Marriage will tomorrow launch a new national ad campaign that highlights how same-sex marriage undermines the core civil rights of those who believe in the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Today is indeed a sad day, but let all of us who understand that marriage is the union of a husband and wife redouble our commitment to ensuring that same-sex marriage does not spread throughout our nation, that religious liberty is protected, and ultimately that marriage is restored in these states as well for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

God bless,

Brian S. Brown
Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542

That is some seriously preposterous language. They realize that the beautifully written Iowa decision destroyed the religion argument. This just sounds desperate. Exactly what "core right" is Brian talking about? He's going to have to bring up r-e-l-i-g-i-o-n at some point, just so it can be blow away yet again.


HRC's rebuttal just landed in my inbox:

Human Rights Campaign Exposes National Organization for Marriage's Fake Ad for Fake Problems

Right-wing group does not have truth on its side, so it hires actors to spew lies; Audition reel uncovered online

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, released a statement and a factual rebuttal today on a television spot produced by the National Organization for Marriage and set to run on CNN, the Fox News Channel, and MSNBC in the coming days. In the ad, actors make disproven claims about marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

"What's next for the National Organization for Marriage? Will they hire legendary infomercial pitchman Ron Popeil to hawk their phony agenda?" said Human Rights Campaign Spokesman Brad Luna. "This ad is full of outrageous falsehoods--and they don't even come out of the mouths of real people."

According to sources, the phony ad is set to run eight times per day in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and California. The ad can be viewed here:

The National Organization for Marriage hired actors to peddle their lies about marriage for lesbian and gay couples. The audition reels can be viewed at and

The National Organization for Marriage and Maggie Gallagher is featured on the interactive wall of, a new HRC action-based website launched to confront the lies and distortions repeatedly used to defeat LGBT equality measures. National Organization for Marriage was added to the wall after the group created an anti- marriage equality radio ad that played in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

"Again and again, opponents of equality have claimed one shallow victory after another by telling lies about who we are as individuals, as loving couples and as families. These lies must be called out for what they are every time the right-wing seeks to derail our progress by spreading distortions and inciting fear mongering," continued Luna.'s interactive wall features videos, audio, pictures, and quotes, calling out those who maliciously use lies and misinformation to interfere with the LGBT community's path to equality. By clicking on the panels of the wall, users can access more information about those highlighted, watch videos, add comments on multimedia discussion boards, and learn how to take action to counteract their misdeeds.

Along with the National Organization for Marriage, the wall currently features the American Family Association (AFA), the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern, and Utah State Senator Chris Buttars, Proposition 8 lawyer Ken Starr, right-wing media personality Rush Limbaugh, and GOP Chairman Michael Steele. Users can also nominate their own candidates for inclusion on the wall.

Background Ad Rebuttal

"The Real Truth Behind the Fake Ad"

The general argument of the ad is that the push for marriage equality isn't just about rights for same-sex couples, it's about imposing contrary values on people of faith. The examples they cite in the ad are:

  1. A California doctor who must choose between her faith and her job

  2. A member of New Jersey church group which is punished by the state because they can't support same-sex marriage

  3. A Massachusetts parent who stands by helpless while the state teaches her son that gay marriage is okay

The facts indicate that (1) refers to the Benitez decision in California, determining that a doctor cannot violate California anti-discrimination law by refusing to treat a lesbian based on religious belief, (2) refers to the Ocean Grove, New Jersey Methodist pavilion that was open to the general public for events but refused access for civil union ceremonies (and was fined by the state for doing so) and (3) refers to the Parker decision in Massachusetts, where parents unsuccessfully sought to end public school discussions of family diversity, including of same-sex couples.

All three examples involve religious people who enter the public sphere, but don't want to abide by the general non-discriminatory rules everyone else does. Both (1) and (2) are really about state laws against sexual orientation discrimination, rather than specifically about marriage. And (3) is about two pairs of religious parents trying to impose their beliefs on all children in public schools.

The real facts of each case are:

  • The California doctor entered a profession that promises to "first, do no harm" and the law requires her to treat a patient in need - gay or straight, Christian or Muslim - regardless of her religious beliefs. The law does not, and cannot, dictate her faith - it can only insist that she follow her oath as a medical professional.

  • The New Jersey church group runs, and profits from, a beachside pavilion that it rents out to the general public for all manner of occasions -concerts, debates and even Civil War reenactments-- but balks at permitting couples to hold civil union ceremonies there. The law does not challenge the church organization's beliefs about homosexuality - it merely requires that a pavilion that had been open to all for years comply with laws protecting everyone from discrimination, including gays and lesbians.

  • The Massachusetts parent disagrees with an aspect of her son's public education, a discussion of the many different kinds of families he will likely encounter in life, including gay and lesbian couples. The law does not stop her from disagreeing, from teaching him consistently with her differing beliefs at home, or even educating her child in a setting that is more in line with her faith traditions. But it does not allow any one parent to dictate the curriculum for all students based on her family's religious traditions.

* National Organization for Marriage puts out 'Armegeddon' email

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It's on MSNBC right now! On Hardball.

Hey, N.O.M! I've got a million dollar idea for your next commercial.

Howzabout I dress up in a sheet, cut eyes at the top, and walk around a straight couple's home wailing and making ghost noises? Get it? It's the specter of ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER!

I expect a check in the mail by Tuesday.

And now, in honor of the National Organization for Marriage's acronym, I shall go nom on a cookie.

Wouldn't it be nice if we (whoever that would does the LGBT community respond to horseshit like this in any unanimous way?) mimicked the exact advertisement?

You know, like we hoped and dreamed would happen during the Prop 8 campaign...with children from same sex families...young and adult...professing their fear and their seniors talking about their decades long wait for recognition...LGBTs of color describing their burden of being a minority within a minority...women and men...straight parents concerned for their children...

It just makes me want to vomit to listen to the arrogance and gall that these malicious and vindictive bigots spew. They are the victims! They are being denied the right to discriminate at will! They are losing their freedom!!

Absolutely repugnant and without redemption.

Any person that sees this campaign (or that saw the exchange on Hardball) better be prepared to make their disgust known. There can be no more half measures or casual dismissal of this propagandist defamation.

Hetero allies - even the weakest - no longer have the luxury of silence. None of us do. These people are deathly serious in their aim to destroy us and they will not hold back.

Every victory we achieve will be matched by 10 times the energy. The lines are drawn.

Isa Kocher | April 9, 2009 4:29 AM

their cruelty, hate, intolerance knows no bounds: the very idea that my existence denies their core humanity says it all. they say their core being hates my existence. that is what they are.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 9, 2009 5:26 AM

I think ads like this one are exactly what "we, whatever we are" need. It is a reminder not to be just self centered pretenders living in a bubble and become people oriented persuaders.

Nothing better than an ad that makes you angry.

Thanks Pam!

Brad Bailey | April 9, 2009 5:49 AM

The National Organization for Marriage website has a blog for each of its entries, and at least one well-reasoned dissenting opinion has been posted on it. Go to the website and tell them exactly what you think.

Can we have commercials done with people dressed as famous Christians, say, as Savanarola and the Bonfire of the Vanities, Cotton Mather at the Witch Trials, Tomas de Torquemada at the Spanish Inquisition, Jerry Falwell and his pro-segregation sermons and have the theme being exterminating religious beliefs and human freedoms that disagree with a narrow set of beliefs, followed by Ellen or another prominent LGBT(Rachel?) saying "One religion's beliefs never should be made into law to crush the freedom and beliefs of others?

Close with "The last time that religion was written into law we got the Inquisition"

I love it that they use the phrase "rainbow coalition"!

Religion is the single greatest impediment to the recognition of the inherent citizenship of America's gay and lesbian citizens.

The argument of dueling bible verses between our supporters and detractors should be between them alone. Both sides need to get out of our lives and let the civil legislative and judicial process take its own course as it has done in Iowa and Vermont.

The travesty of the recent California election with the passage of Prop-Hate should never happen again anywhere else.

That's actually a pretty well-made ad. Why can't we do stuff like that instead of running words about "equality" and "human rights" over the screen?