National Organization for Marriage

Globalizing Homophobia, Part 2: 'Today the Whole World Is Looking At Russia'

This is the second post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.

On June 13, 2013, just days after the Russian Duma passed laws banning on gay “propaganda” and actions that “offend religious feelings,” a delegation of five French Catholic anti-gay activists --at least one with ties to the far-right Front National party -- traveled to Moscow at the invitation of the Duma committee on family, women and children to discuss, among other issues, Russia’s plans to tighten its ban on adoption by same-sex couples abroad. Joining them was one of the most well-known figures in the American anti-gay movement, National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown .

Brown had worked closely with the French anti-gay movement in its protests of the country’s marriage equality law, traveling to Paris to demonstrate against the law and signing onto an email to members of the Collectif Famille Mariage, one of the most prominent groups working to oppose marriage equality in France. (Excerpt: "You are the people who invented Gothic art and built these wonderful cathedrals soaring toward the sky, inspiring the entire civilized world…The new cathedral that you are building right before our eyes is composed of living stones: you, dear Resistance fighters, young people and adults, men and women, boys and girls!” )

The French activists joining Brown were far-right thinker Aymeric Chauprade; activist Odile Téqui; François Legrier, president of the Mouvement Catholique des Familles; and Hugues Revel, president of Cahtoliques en Campagne.

The French delegation was led by Fabrice Sorlin, head of the far-right nationalist group Dies Irae, which is named after a liturgical poemabout the Day of Judgment and has been accused of racist and anti-Semitic behavior and, according to Box Turtle Bulletin, “had been working to create autonomous militias in France under the inspiration of American white nationalist Luther Pierce’s conspiracy-laden novel The Turner Diaries.” (The group has denied the charges .) Sorlin is also a former candidate for the far-right Front National party, and chair of a group called Alliance France-Europe Russia, which is dedicated to forging a “strong connection between Europe and Russia” and uniting “the Anglo-Saxon world” against the emerging economies of China and India based, in part, on shared “Christian values.” The project of building a stronger alliance with Russia is a project held dear by the French far-right.

Le Figaro notes that elected officials at the front of the French anti-marriage movement did not respond to the Duma’s invitation to attend the meeting for fear of being “associated with a campaign of homophobia directed by Moscow” but that the name of the far-right Le Pen family “was mentioned several times” at the event.

According to Russian news reports, the French activists and Brown attended two events in Moscow. One was a joint meeting on changes in international adoption laws with the Duma’s committee on foreign affairs and its committee on family, women and children – whose chair, Yelena Mizulina, authored the ban on gay “propaganda” and the adoption bill.

The other event was a roundtable discussion on "Traditional Values: The Future of the European Peoples," hosted by the St. Basil the Great Foundation – a Russian Orthodox group run by Konstantin Malofeev, the head of a private equity group and spirited anti-gay activist – and also sponsored by the Duma’s family committee, the right-wing Center for Social-Conservative Policy, and a new multi-party group of Russian MPs formed, with approval of the Russian Orthodox Church, to “protect traditional Christian values” and fight “aggressive liberalism” inreaction to Pussy Riot’s protests. Among the measures pushed by the group was the new law imposing jail time for “insulting religious feelings.”

The National Organization for Marriage did not publicly announce Brown’s participation in this international meeting of anti-gay minds. However, his presence was mentioned by Revel in a blog post about the visit, in which he noted that Brown gave a “remarkable speech in the Duma.”

The NOM leader also spoke to Russia 1’s Vesti news program:

According to a re-translation of the Russian translation of the interview with Brown, he told the reporters that restricting Russian adoptions to gay and lesbian couples was a way of halting a slippery slope of “very negative developments all over the world”:

Right now you’re having the fight about adoption, but the adoption issue is indivisible from the marriage issue. If you don’t defend your values now, I’m afraid we’re going to see very negative developments all over the world.

We reached out to NOM for more information about Brown’s trip and a copy of the speech he gave to the Duma, but did not receive a reply. But luckily, the committee that hosted the activists posted copies of all the speeches on their website.

In his speech to the committee (again, translated to Russian and back again to English), Brown warned of the dangers of allowing gay people to adopt children, saying “Every child should have the right to have normal parents: a father and a mother,” and sharing some of NOM’s favorite stories of the supposed religious persecution following marriage equality in the U.S.:

But we are now convinced, having heard the presentations of our French brothers and sisters, that we are talking about very serious problems indeed. We are talking about violations of rights, we are talking about the rights and problems of children in their education. We should not shy away from this and should not forget about it and create an illusion for ourselves. A reconsideration of the definition and understanding of marriage is in fact a real threat to rights. Very soon after a law was passed that legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Massachusetts, we saw that religious organizations were closing down, religious organizations that dealt with adoptions and that did not support adoption by same-sex families. They were closing one after another.

We have actually seen that in some schools, they are talking to children about homosexuality, but in fact they don’t have the right to learn about a lot of things like that until a certain age.

I think that this visit, the invitation to visit Russia, will enable the development of this movement around the world. We will band together, we will defend our children and their normal civil rights. Every child should have the right to have normal parents: a father and a mother.

If anything, Brown’s speech was one of the most restrained at the Duma meeting. You can get an idea of the flavor of the event from the speech of one of the French activists, Aymeric Chauprade , who gleefully portrays Russia as a guiding light for anti-gay activists throughout the world:

In this new battle, ladies and gentlemen [of the Duma], those who do not want the U.S. anti-missile shield, the dominance of NATO, or the war against Syria and Iran are in the same camp as those who refuse the loss of sovereignty, population replacement on a grand scale, FEMEN, gender theory, homosexual marriage, as well as the further commodification of the human body.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with President Putin and all the driving forces of Russia that your country has embarked upon an unprecedented shift in the military, geopolitics, economics, energy and  spirituality that commands the admiration of French patriots!

Patriots around the world, as committed to the independence of nations as they are to the foundations of our civilization, turn their eyes at this time towards Moscow.

Fabrice Sorlin, the nationalist leader, went even further, comparing Russia’s anti-gay stand to its protection of Europe against the Mongol hordes and against fascism in the twentieth century (Translated from the French by Google):

Dear friends, I say to you-- The people of France taking to the streets today to defend fundamental values are watching you closely. For throughout history, if France has often played the role of rouser of our conscience, Russia for its part has always played that of protector of the nations of Europe.

To name but two examples, first let us recall the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan that you fought in the 13th century, thereby protecting Europe from their invasions.

But let us above all remember the twentieth century, where once again you were the shield as well as the sword of Europe, crushing the fascism that was then sweeping over her-- paying for it the dearest human toll that any nation has ever paid.

But your role does not end there. For though times have changed, today another danger threatens France and Europe—that of the loss of its bearings, of its traditional values; in short, the suicide of our Civilization.

Francois Legrois, the head of Mouvement Cahtolique des Familles, put it this way:

Our European governments are coming up against this ideology that puts them at risk and that may drive them to social suicide. This means both demographic suicide, because homosexuality is the same as infertility, but also to moral suicide, because in this situation a person does not know where he comes from and where he is going. Such a person will become only a resentful person who has no reason to love either his family or his motherland.

The only alternative is a return to reality, a return to Christianity, which is a genuine treasure that we must open for ourselves once again. This implies a policy that defends the family against that which would lead to its collapse.

Needless to say, this message was well received by the hosts of the two events. At a press conference after the Duma meeting, Mizulina, the committee chair who spearheaded the propaganda and adoption measures, said:

You heard what our French colleagues said: that today the whole world is looking at Russia with hope that Russia will hold fast and not give in to this unusual pressure from European governments and will conserve its own traditional family identity. It’s perfectly clear that Europe today, faced by the collision of two very serious values—the right of children to a family and the right of sexual minorities to a family—is making its choice in favor of sexual minorities.

This line of reasoning continued at the roundtable meeting. Malofeev, the head of the St. Basil the Great Foundation, who seemed to be the emcee of the roundtable, is fond of the message that Russia is the savior of civilization. He spoke at last year’s World Congress of Families gathering in Sydney, where, according to one attendee, he promised, “Now Christian Russia can help liberate the West from the new liberal anti-Christian totalitarianism of political correctness, gender ideology, mass-media censorship and neo-Marxist dogma." (We’ll be reporting more on his connections to the World Congress in a later post.)

Speaking at the roundtable, Malofeev called the passage of the gay “propaganda” ban “a great success and a big step forward for Russia.” He added that the world must follow Russia’s lead or risk human extinction:

Against the backdrop of what is going on in France and other countries, we are seeing the degradation of civilization. We can even use the term ‘anticivilization,’ and this anticivilization is progressing. Things are happening that will lead to the physical extinction of humans.

At another point in the meeting, Malofeev praised the French for realizing that "Moscow is really the center of their salvation":

The French have realized that Moscow is really the center of their salvation in this case, the center of salvation for conservative, Christian, European values. Russians need to recognize that we are already leaders. We should not strive to be like someone else, but rather need to help others so that they can become more like us.

Yurii Shuvalov, head of the Center for Socio-Conservative Policy, another sponsor of the roundtable, told reporters at the meeting that it is incumbent on Russia to "present an alternative" to a world that is increasingly embracing LGBT rights and where "morality has been turned upside down and cannot gain a foothold."

Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov, a Russian Orthodox leader, added that a “wealthy minority” supporting gay rights “is acting with undeclared motives that cannot be explained other than by Satanism.”

Besides Brown, there was another American guest at the roundtable, who enthusiastically embraced the Russia-as-savior line.

Russian news reports mention that also present to give the American perspective was a man named Jack Hanick. On his LinkedIn page and in interviews, Hanick describes himself as a founding employee of Fox News, who worked there for 15 years as a news director. Fox News confirmed that Hanick was an employee from 1996 through 2011 where he worked in “a production role dealing with the visual aspects of the show” rather than in any “editorial capacity.”

Hanick told the roundtable that God had called on Russia to “stand up for traditional values”:

When it came time to stand up for traditional values, this was the place. God called on this country to fulfill that role.

In an August interview with a Russian magazine, Hanick expanded on his view that Russia’s flirtation with theocracy should be a model for the United States (choppy translation via Google Translate):

In the U.S., serious problems, including the decline of morals and the general, brought the separation of church and state. According to the Constitution of 1787, the government had no right to do one of the official religions - so understood separation of church and state. But 200 years later, it has acquired a different meaning: everything about the faith, was expelled from everyday life, it was given a special place and time - a few hours a week, within the church. This is a horrific result because it shows that we have gone from that promise with which our laws were written 200 years ago, have distorted it.

In Russia the issue of separation of church and state, obviously, is much less of an issue, and I see this a positive thing. If in the U.S. religion removed from public debate, in Russia - thanks to the Church and state - these topics are submitted to the agenda.

The appeals of the Americans and the French at the meeting were effective. Five days later, the Duma passed a ban on the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples and by single people living in countries that allow marriage equality.

Our next post will look at another American was prominent in news reports about the event, although he was not present: University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus.

Correction: This post originally called the St. Basil the Great Foundation a Catholic group. It is a Russian Orthodox group.

Update: French translations have been edited for clarity and accuracy. 

NOM’s Brian Brown Brags About Supporting Anti-Gay Work Abroad

Last year, when some internal planning documents from the National Organization for Marriage were released as part of court filings, public attention focused on the group’s explicit racial wedge strategies designed to foment tensions between LGBT and African American communities. But the documents also revealed NOM’s desire to play globally: they talk of “Internationalizing the Marriage Issue” and working “to halt the movement toward gay marriage worldwide.”

In an email sent yesterday, NOM President Brian Brown brags explicitly about supporting the international work of the World Congress of Families, a project of The Howard Center for Religion Family and Society, and making a pitch for donations to the group. Here’s Brown’s quote:

The World Congress of Families is THE group standing up for the family around the world.  They have done amazing work in uniting all of those who stand for the truth about marriage and family.  It has been an honor to partner with WCF and to be a part of their most recent Congress in Australia and regional conference in Trinidad and Tobago.  I wholeheartedly endorse their work and urge you to financially support their efforts.

Just who is Brown so proud to be raising money for? In just the past several months, World Congress of Families spokesmen have:

  • praised new anti-gay laws in Russia and said Russians “might be the Christian saviors to the world"
  • called that the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act a “travesty” that would encourage pedophilia and doom America to “extinction”
  • portrayed undocumented immigrants as “parasites, criminals, potential terrorists and the arrogantly unassimilable”
  • warned that President Obama will soon be pushing conservatives into “cattle cars” as part of his plans to “crush dissent.”

The World Congress of Families, of course, defines “natural family” in a way that excludes same-sex couples: “the term 'natural' precludes incompatible constructs of the family as well as incompatible behaviors among its members.” The Howard Center hosted a symposium in Washington, D.C. earlier this year in which a parade of right-wing speakers claimed that the real “war on women” comes from “those who present themselves as champions of women’s rights.”

WCF summits and regional gatherings held around the world - -this year’s was held in Sydney, Australia --  are a magnet for speakers from American Religious Right leaders like Peter LaBarbera who share anti-choice and anti-LGBT equality strategies with their international allies. As Brown mentions in his fundraising pitch, WCF held a Caribbean conference in Trinidad in June. Among the long list of American religious right figures speaking, in addition to Brown, were Janet Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America and WCF’s own Don Feder.

Next year’s World Congress of Families conference will be held in Moscow. Perfect.

NOM's Bill Owens Praises Russia Anti-Gay Law

National Organization for Marriage’s religious liaison William Owens emailed members of the Coalition of African-American Pastors last week hailing Russia’s law banning gay “propaganda” and chiding President Obama for speaking out against the law. He accused the Obama administration of trying “to force its immorality, depravity and sin on another nation,” while warning that “the free fall of our nation” and “the overall decline” of America represent “a ‘heavenly verdict’ against this nation.”

“I applaud the Russians for taking a stand for children!” Owens writes, saying that “this response from the homosexual community is absurd.” “[I]t appears that the leaders of Russia are attempting to stem the tide of moral decline in ‘their’ country,” he continues.

When I heard the news report regarding Russia’s new law prohibiting the propagating of homosexuality I was intrigued but the outcry that followed from the American news media, the LGBT community, and gay rights advocates was very disturbing. Many of these organizations threatened to push for a ‘boycott’ of the U.S. Olympics, while others threatened to put pressure on our legislature, and congressional representatives to compel Russia [a sovereign nation] into backing away from what ‘they’ consider a ‘discriminatory’ law. I believe that this is just another one of their ploys to cover their real intent, which is to force the acceptance of a lifestyle that is a clear violation of American values and moral law.

Friend, this response from the homosexual community is absurd. Since when does America have the right to force its immorality, depravity, and sin on another nation? We are currently witnessing the free fall of our nation. Over the past five years, we’ve moved from a super power position to a nation that is perceived to be weak and contemptible. This overall decline of our nation has proven to be an unequivocal manifestation of a ‘heavenly verdict’ against the nation.



With the battle for the family waging across this nation, instead of condemning a sovereign nation for its laws we need to be changing ours. The family unit is under attack and we must stand against those who want to redefine and destroy it. The family is the foundation of a society and the glue that holds it together. I applaud the Russians for taking a stand for children!

And though I cannot honestly speak to the morality of Russia or its leaders, I can say that it appears that the leaders of Russia are attempting to stem the tide of moral decline in ‘their’ country. And I do acknowledge that things are not ideal there, but it seems to me that we need to take the beam out of our own eye before we are in a position to take the beam out of theirs! America is not in a position to judge or impose our so-called ‘morality’ on anyone, let alone a sovereign nation!

My friend it is time to turn back to God, and it is time to get our [spiritual] houses in order. No matter where you are spiritually, if you are reading our newsletters, bells and whistles must be going off by now. I am very concerned for our nation and as a minister of the Gospel; I must declare to you that our nation is in trouble. We must pray without ceasing for our nation and we ask for your support to help us stay in the fight.

NOM's Schubert: Supreme Court Is 'Shredding The Constitution'

In an interview with Steve Deace yesterday, Frank Schubert, the top campaign strategist for anti-gay groups including the National Organization for Marriage, accused the Supreme Court of “shredding of the Constitution” with its “horrendous” court decision on Prop 8. Schubert was upset that the ruling cleared the way for attorneys general not to defend certain laws.

However, administrations from those of Harry Truman to George W. Bush (including Ronald Reagan) have refused to defend laws they believe are unconstitutional. “It’s going to come back I think and wreak havoc in lots of other areas,” Schubert continued. 

He also called the Windsor decision “preposterous” and claimed it “calls into question the integrity of the governmental process itself. These judges have now put themselves as our supreme overlords, the overseers of our conduct.”

NOM: No More Brides and Grooms If Gay Marriage Becomes Legal

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, and the church as this change gains traction,” Thieme writes, urging libertarians not to back gay rights because “socialists support it.”

First, I do not think it is realistic to believe the government will actually get out of marriage, especially once the definition of marriage becomes sexless (genderless) as a widespread policy. Sexless marriage as a policy is what must happen in order to allow gay couples to marry. It wasn't fair that only straight women could be brides, and only straight men could be grooms. So now no woman gets to be a bride, and no man gets to be a groom in same sex marriage states. The state will not likely give up the increased power it gets over individuals, children, and the church as this change gains traction.



"How does gay marriage affect YOUR marriage?"

I've encountered honest, far-left leaning Democrats who admit that sexless marriage is the destruction of traditional marriage. They admit it, point blank. One even likened it to slavery. This is not how it gets marketed to voters. Voters are told that marriage is simply being expanded to include gay couples. Expanding marriage vs. eliminating traditional marriage are two very different things.

Furthermore, father of Marxist thought Friedrich Engels was against traditional marriage. It is not possible to know what sort of stand he would take on the sexless marriage issue. I think it's very fair to say that his modern day followers support it. It frustrates me that some prominent libertarians refuse to engage an important social policy that socialists support. Does it occur to them why socialists support it?

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/2/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 7/2/13

  • 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 endorsed bestiality, necrophilia, incest and pedophilia.

Jennifer Roback Morse: Hollywood to Blame for Gay Marriage Decisions

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 people there are in the country. “They’re only about 2% of the population,” she claimed. “But if you watch TV all day, you’ll think it’s 30 or 40% of the population’s gay.”

Morse urged anti-gay activists “to go down fighting” and suggested that the freedom of speech is at stake: “You need to speak out while you still can because these guys are closing in on us in all kinds of dimensions.” According to Morse, gay rights advocates believe “the sexual revolution is the highest objective and will bend the rule of law and bend the Constitution” in order to realize their goals.

NOM: Portman and Kirk Will Lose Re-Election for Endorsing Marriage Equality

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 again.

Brown: If the Republican Party were to change its platform, that would be the death knell for the Republican Party. Right now the Democratic Party has changed its platform, has wholeheartedly embraced the redefinition of marriage. The Republican Party right now gives voters — and again, the majority of voters who have been able to vote on this issue have voted to protect marriage in this country — it gives those voters a party that at this point stands up for traditional marriage. We need to be encouraging Republican lawmakers to be speaking out more on the importance of marriage, not attempting to imitate the Democratic Party in embracing the redefinition of marriage.

Mefferd: Very, very well said. You’re seeing people like Rob Portman and Mark Kirk come out as Republicans backing now homosexual so-called marriage. What do you think the response needs to be from the voters, working very hard to get them out of office? Brown: They need to be primaried, period. I think that folks in Ohio, if Rob Portman decides to run again, he will be primaried, he may not run again because there’s been such a backlash in his state, and I think the same is true of Mark Kirk.

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/1/13

Brian Brown: Anti-Gay March Was What the Civil Rights Movement 'Must Have Felt Like'

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 racial equality.

We were hoping for 5,000 people and we ended up with over 10,000. We filled the whole area in front of the court when we marched. It was a diverse coalition, we had African American leaders, Hispanic leaders, State Sen. Ruben Diaz brought 30 buses from the Bronx; it was just amazing. What I was most happy about, we talked about this before the rally, the way everyone conducted themselves. We were chanting, we were united but when folks tried to get in our way, there were some gay marriage protesters who tried to get in front of the march and stop us even though we had a permit, everyone just knelt down and started praying. I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement but this is what it must have felt like, people were just so ecstatic to stand up and they did it in a loving, respectful way but they weren’t going to be silenced. I couldn’t be more happy with what happened today, I think it’s a huge step forward for the pro-marriage movement and I don’t think it’s going to be lost on the Supreme Court justices that we were there and we were there in force.

Earlier in the same program, Gary Bauer of American Values told Mefferd that young people tend to back marriage equality because “many of them have breathed the air of the poisoned culture,” and warned that any decision striking down anti-gay marriage laws “would be a serious disaster for our country.”

Bauer: Among young people many of them have breathed the air of the poisoned culture and they might have a different view on it but I do not believe the average college student, burdened with maybe $100,000 of student debt, looking at dim job prospects, is thinking first and foremost when they get up in the morning: wow, I sure do hope men can marry men.

Mefferd: Right, right. I don’t think that’s probably a front burner issue for any of them either. This is interesting though, what we are hearing now from the news reports, the SCOTUS Blog had a number of people who were writing articles today about this, indicating that Justice Anthony Kennedy thinks, it may be the case, that the case should be dismissed with no ruling at all. Now I don’t know how many people expected that coming out of the court today but what is your take on this idea that they could just keep it to California, they may just decide to dismiss the case altogether?

Bauer: I’m hearing the same thing; it would be something of a surprise. I wouldn’t be dancing a jig if that’s the ruling but it sure is better than the ruling that I fear which is that this propaganda campaign will panic Kennedy and maybe even somebody like Chief Justice Roberts to rule that this is a constitutional right hidden in that same provision that has the right to abort babies and that every state’s vote has been struck down. That would be obviously a disaster not only for folks like us but I believe it would be a serious disaster for our country.

Gay Tea Party Activist Denounces Gay Marriage at NOM Rally

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 man, I can state categorically, it is not homophobic to oppose same-sex marriage,” Mainwaring told the crowd, “to the Supreme Court, legislators and jurists around the country: slow this train down.”

Watch:

NOM's 'Historic' Fail

For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies couldn’t pull it off. Not even close.

In reality, NOM’s rally had a few, perhaps several, thousand attendees.  (NOM’s Thomas Peters claims 15,000, which seems, um, generous.) And every time one of the speakers tried to make the crowd feel like part of a larger movement by talking about the 200,000 people they said marched recently for one-man/one-woman marriage in Puerto Rico, or the hundreds of thousands or millions in France and Spain, or even the 585,000 who have signed the Manhattan Declaration or the half million who marched against legal abortion, it only served to highlight how few bothered to show up in Washington. According to various speakers, the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent five busloads; anti-gay state senator Ruben Diaz claimed 32 buses from New York. Brian Brown gave a shout out to some Chinese Christians from Chicago.

The ethnically diverse speakers’ list was a mix of old and new, including some familiar faces on the anti-gay circuit, such as Harry Jackson, Gary Bauer, and Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats. Harry Jackson led the crowd in a chant that he said was a prayer for the Supreme Court: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered.” Bauer delivered a blustery message to the Republican Party that if they “bail” on marriage, he’ll lead as many people as he can out of the GOP (which may not be that much of a threat). Vander Plaats urged Supreme Court justices to look to the Founding Fathers, Billy Graham, and Pope Francis. Also speaking were Doug Mainwaring, now making the circuit as the anti-equality gay man the Religious Right loves to love; Frank Schubert, the mastermind of the dishonest Prop 8 campaign and every anti-equality campaign since then; and Jim Garlow, who made a name for himself among the Religious Right with his pro-Prop 8 organizing. Garlow insisted you cannot call yourself a Christian and support the Court’s “obliterating” what he called a “core aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Garlow should have seen the packed crowd at the morning’s pro-equality interfaith service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.) Garlow warned Supreme Court justices that they will one day stand before “the Chief Justice of the Universe” and will be held accountable if they defy His ways.

A couple of groups sent under-30 speakers to say how wrong the media is to suggest that Millennials are a lost cause on this issue.  But facts are facts, and polls show that support for marriage equality is overwhelming among under-30 Americans: 72 percent of Millennials believe same-sex couples should be able to get legally married, including 58 percent of under-30 Republicans.

Many of the speakers were on-message to the point of being boringly redundant, repeating the message on marchers’ pre-printed signs: “Kids do best with a mom and a dad” and “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Sometimes this came with a strong shot of gender stereotypes: mothers provide tenderness and fathers provide protection.  Brian Brown even showed a video of the Religious Right’s newest heroine, the 11-year old who testified against marriage equality in Minnesota and asked which of her parents she did not need, her mother or father. Perhaps someone could explain that no same-sex couples seeking to get married have any desire to force her to get rid of either parent.

NOM’s backers for the marriage march included the far-far-right-wing Catholic group Tradition, Family & Property, with its scarlet banners, capes, and marching band (see Adele Stan’s reminder who TFP is), Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, a couple of Catholic dioceses, the Knights of Columbus and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.  Brown gave special thanks to the Mormon-run GFC Foundation for providing grants for buses.

 

Jennifer Roback Morse: If SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage, Future Generations Will Ask 'What Were You Thinking?'

Speaking at today's "March for Marriage," Jennifer Roback Morse of The Ruth Institute predicated that, should the Supreme Court strike down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, forty years from now, young people will demand to know "what where you thinking?"

Morse said that future children will turn to their same-sex parents and say "Dad, you and your partner are lovely guys; I love you Dad, but did you really think I would never need a mom?  What were you thinking!?! Mom, I know you love me.  You and your partner are nice ladies, but the biological connection that was so important to you, did you think it would never be important to me?  What were you thinking!?!"

Apparently, in the future, children raised their entire life by same-sex parents will refer to one of their parents as "Mom" or "Dad" and the other as "your partner."

Garlow: Supreme Court Trying to 'Flex Muscles Against Almighty God' By 'Obliterating' Marriage

Pastor Jim Garlow, who helped spearhead Proposition 8 and has described the gay rights movement as Satanic and part of an “Antichrist spirit,” delivered a stark warning to the Supreme Court during the closing speech at the National Organization for Marriage’s rally on the National Mall.

“Isn’t it interesting that the Supreme Court would be considering obliterating one of the core aspects of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” during Holy Week, Garlow said, as he marveled that “on this incredibly sacred week, the court would tend to try to flex their muscles against Almighty God: no one can win, your arms are too short to box with God.”

Watch:

Gary Bauer Threatens to Leave GOP if it 'Bails Out' on Issue of Marriage Equality

Today, the National Organization for Marriage and allied groups organized a "March for Marriage" orchestrated to coincide with arguments at the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. 

The march ended with a rally on the National Mall featuring a variety of speakers, including Gary Bauer, who used it as a platform to send a message to the Republican Party that "if you bail out on this issue, I will leave the party and I will take as many people with me as I possibly can":

NOM's Brown Invokes Lincoln on Federal Marriage Amendment: 'We Cannot Be…Half Slave, Half Free'

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown joined Steve Deace on Friday to discuss the marriage equality cases being argued this week at the Supreme Court. If the Court rules broadly in favor of equality, Brown said, NOM would turn its focus toward advocating for a Federal Marriage Amendment banning marriage equality throughout the country. Responding to conservatives who are concerned about the Federal Marriage Amendment’s infringement on states’ rights, Brown invoked Abraham Lincoln: “We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution.”

I think we’re going to win these cases. But say the worst happens and we lose in a broad way – that means that the Court somehow does a Roe, a Roe v. Wade, on marriage and says that all these state constitutional amendments are overturned, gay marriage is now a constitutional right – well, we’re going to press forward on a Federal Marriage Amendment. We’ve always supported a Federal Marriage Amendment, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Some people try and argue, ‘Well, this is against federalism.’ No, our founders gave us a system where we can amend the Constitution. We shouldn’t have to do this, we shouldn’t have to worry about activist judges, you know, making up out of thin air a constitutional right that obviously none of our founders found there and no one found there until quite recently. But if we do, for us, the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution. And if the Court forces a solution, the way we’ll amend that is through  the Federal Marriage Amendment.

NOM March Sponsor Defends Criminalization of Homosexuality

The National Organization for Marriage’s upcoming Marriage March in Washington DC is sponsored by a whole litany of national and state-based Religious Right organizations and Catholic Church affiliates, and Jeremy Hooper has been doing an excellent job running down the list.

One notable sponsor of NOM’s march is Family Watch International (FWI), a group that defends the criminalization of homosexuality.

Other NOM march sponsors like the World Congress of Families and the Family Research Council have also defended such anti-gay laws, but as Warren Throckmorton reports FWI has been particularly active in pushing criminalization policies abroad.

Sharon Slater, American anti-gay activist and president of Family Watch International, recently encouraged delegates attending a law conference in Lagos, Nigeria to resist the United Nations’ calls to decriminalize homosexuality. Keynoting the Nigerian Bar Association Conference, Slater told delegates that they would lose their religious and parental rights if they supported “fictitious sexual rights.” One such “fictitious right” is the right to engage in same-sex sexual relationships without going to jail.



In Nigeria, homosexual behavior is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison. In the Islamic North, where Sharia law is enforced, gays can be sentenced to death by stoning.

According to Family Watch International, Nigeria is a role model.



Given the application of U.S. ex-gay rhetoric to questions of criminalization in Africa, it appears that FWI and their ally the WCF are fighting ideological battles in Africa and at the UN that they have lost in the United States. As Slater noted, she opposed the repeal of sodomy laws over a decade ago and now these organizations are opposing UN efforts to encourage repeal of such laws around the world.

Despite recoiling from obvious violence of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality bill, FWI continues to carry the banner for African and Arab nations that cause GLBT people to live in fear—and sometimes in jail. Opposing the repeal of laws criminalizing homosexual behavior in the U.S. is a far different matter than opposing such repeal in Nigeria or Ghana. Despite Slater saying the matter was “complicated,” the activities of FWI reveal a very uncomplicated, black-and-white strategy: laws opposing homosexuality in any form should be retained, while those which might provide basic freedoms to gays are opposed as bad for everybody else. The only caveat is that they prefer that gays not be beaten or killed.

Kerry Eleveld in the Political Research Associates report “Colonizing African Values” also looks into FWI’s promotion of ex-gay pseudo-science and FWI head Sharon Slater’s demand that homosexuality be treated like rape, assault, sexual abuse and drug dealing.

“It is one thing to allow others the right to engage in self-destructive behavior,” Slater warned in a 2009 article. “But allowing and even granting those same individuals the right to introduce this behavior as normal and healthy to society at large, especially to children, is a very different proposition. This is why we have laws that prohibit sexual acts such as incest, sexual abuse, and rape as well as drug dealing, assaults, and other crimes.”



This stance attracted the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which gave Slater a platform during its annual conference last year. As “scientific” organizations that used to employ discredited research in support of curing homosexuality continue to be marginalized, they seem to be reaching out to Christian Right figures such as Slater, and in return FWI’s website utilizes NARTH resources on ex-gay therapy.

Though Slater appears to have kept news of the most recent Global Family Policy Forum to a minimum, last year in a newsletter she recounted “one of the most moving presentations” as given by a person “successfully reorienting” from homosexuality to heterosexuality. According to Slater: “For many of these diplomats, this was their first exposure to the scientific and clinical evidence that proves homo- sexuality is not genetically determined and fixed like skin color or race and that in many cases, individuals who experience same-sex attraction can be helped by therapy.” (emphasis hers)

In order to curry favor with foreign diplomats and people from developing countries, Slater continually drives home themes of the West imposing its bankrupt and deleterious values on the rest of the world. FWI’s latest documentary, “Cultural Imperialism,” is described as a “hard-hitting exposé of how the U.S. and other Western governments and UN agencies are blackmailing developing nations to accept controversial sexual rights in the guise of fighting AIDS.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/27/13

  • Alex Pareene @ Salon: Bob Woodward demands law-ignoring, mind-controlling presidential leadership.
  • Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: NOM’s Morse Uses Tyler Clementi’s Suicide To Discuss Exploitation Of “Confused” Adolescents By Gay Activists. 

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/27/13

  • More Religious Right groups have signed up [PDF] for NOM’s “Marriage March.”
  • It appears that Steve King is getting closer to locking up the GOP nomination for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat.
  • Rick Perry will attend Concerned Women for America’s “Texas Faith and Family Rally.”
  • Sarah Palin writes that “the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest” after we go into default…and then calls on politicians to “stop the hysterics.”
  • An Ohio public school teacher who was fired for preaching Creationism in the classroom has taken his case to the state Supreme Court.
  • Anti-choice activists claim Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards is a racist for commending Richard Nixon for signing the law which created the Title X Family Planning Program. 
  • Quote of the day comes from ex-gay therapist Christopher Doyle: “We have found that 99 percent of our clients who experience homosexual feelings have very sensitive temperaments... This is what I believe to be the foundation for the development of [same-sex attraction] – a sensitive nature.”
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