Thursday, August 11, 2011

NOM slapped down by the courts while its bus tour is flopping hard

It hasn't been a good day for the National Organization for Marriage. According to ThinkProgress:

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has again ruled against the National Organization for Marriage’s attempts to challenge the “constitutionality of a Rhode Island election law requiring the reporting of so-called ‘independent expenditures.’”  NOM has been actively challenging financial disclosure laws across the country to protect the names of its few but generous donors. The Court borrowed largely from its own decision against NOM’s challenge to Maine’s laws. Read the full decision.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network goes into more detail about NOM's loss:

NOM, which was the major funder behind the effort to overturn Maine's same sex marriage law two years ago, had had challenged the constitutionality of Maine's election law, claiming that its reporting requirements for political action committties are vague and over-broad.

District Court Judge Brock Hornby ruled against NOM on most of its challenge, and now the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has also weighed in, siding with the state of Maine.

"That's correct, NOM had made 'vagueness' claims and First Amendement claims, and the 1st Circuit rejected all of them," says Tom Knowlton, an assistant state attorney general who serves as counsel for the Maine Ethics Commission. "The 1st Circuit has upheld the constitutionality of Maine's laws that require the disclosure of contributions and expenditures in candidate elections by PACs and by independent groups."

And as if NOM's court loss isn't bad enough, according to Equality Matters, the organization's "Values Bus" tour is an unmitigated flop:

On Tuesday, NOM -- along with the anti-gay Family Research Council and anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List -- began its 2011 “Values Bus Tour,” which plans to stop at 22 Iowa cities and energize ‘value voters’ to participate in the Ames Straw Poll on August 13 (the day the tour ends). 

So far, tour stops have included appearances from GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty, with others expected to show up before the week ends.

Not making appearances so far? Actual voters.

So far, looking over the scant news coverage the tour has received, it appears that few of NOM loyal followers bothered coming out to show their support.

And Equality Matters is definitely twisting the screws into NOM's wounds by going into detail as to where NOM stops on its tour and just how many people are not showing up. 

I know I shouldn't enjoy Equality Matters's breakdown of NOM's flopping tour but I am.

Sometimes you gotta say what the hell and do things for your own personal enjoyment.

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Poll - New Yorkers like marriage equality law and other Thursday midday news briefs

The petition asking Congress to scrutinize anti-gay testimony at its hearings is slowly but surely closing in on 1,000 signatures. Check out a news brief below as to why it is important. And sign it if you haven't already!

  Poll: New Yorkers Pleased With Marriage Equality Law - In your FACE, NOM!

Starbucks' Howard Schultz Won't Speak At Church That Once Supported 'Ex-Gay' Therapy - Starbucks strikes a blow for truth.

“I Want To Be With My Family, In My Country.” - I LOVE me some Obama, but this here is a consummate disgrace and tragedy.

Boehner’s DOMA lawyers want to cite Maggie Gallagher, but avoid cross-examination - THIS is why the petition is important.

Bachmann's Mentor Says Gay Rights Will Doom America - Okay, just who told our plans. I swear gay folks are such blabbermouths!

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Hate group leader doesn't want gays to serve on juries

Brian Camenker
If you give the members of the religious right enough rope, they tend to hang themselves.

That's why I am a huge proponent of letting them talk freely because sooner or later, they always wind up with their foot in their mouths. You can set your watch to it.

A perfect example would be Brian Camenker, the leader of the Southern Poverty Law Center declared hate group Mass Resistance.

Mass Resistance has that title of a hate group for the following reasons:

In 2006-2007, Mass-Resistance pushed for an amendment of the 1996 statute that would have required that parents be notified of any discussion of gay or lesbian issues in the schools. The group proposed language that lumped sexual orientation (which includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality) in with criminal behaviors like bestiality and polygamy. During legislative testimony supporting the amendment, Camenker falsely claimed that no homosexuals died in the Holocaust and that the pink triangle the Nazis forced imprisoned gays to wear actually signified Catholic priests. The amendment did not pass.

Camenker, who has long focused on the purported “homosexual agenda” in the schools and frequently claimed gays are dangerous to kids, has repeatedly cited discredited claims from organizations like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality that link homosexuality and pedophilia.  

Allow me include that additionally, Camenker and a local parent David Parker orchestrated a two-year long moral panic by first falsely claiming that Parker was arrested for merely wanting his son to be opted out of classroom discussions of homosexuality and then claiming that his son was physically assaulted by the children of lgbt household for his father's stance.

In 2008, another person affiliated with the organization, Michael Olivio, was arrested after he was caught taking pictures of children at a local middle school school. He and Camenker claimed that he meant to take pictures of students at a high school because the state Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgendered Youth had held a meeting there (taking pictures of gay students is another sideline of Mass Resistance).

And last but not least, it was Mass Resistance behind repeated smears of Obama appointee Kevin Jennings, including the phony "fistgate" scandal.

As hard as it is to believe, the subject of today's post, Camenker goes around yet another bend of homophobia. He was being interviewed by the phony news service One News Now on the possibility of gay jurors. According to One News Now, here is the scenario:

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has heard arguments that challenge a prosecutor's decision to remove a lesbian juror from a case involving Daniel Osazuwa, a homosexual Nigerian immigrant convicted of assaulting a guard when he hugged him. When the guard reacted, he fell to the ground, and Osazuwa toppled on top of him. Osazuwa contends that this greeting is a friendly gesture in Nigeria.

And the following is what Camenker said:

"There are a million reasons why someone might want to not include someone who is a practicing homosexual from a jury, especially [from a case] that has to do with homosexuality," the MassResistance spokesman points out. "This is very dangerous, I think."

Camenker goes on to warn that the Ninth Circuit's decision in this case will set precedence for future similar cases. And he contends that if the court rules in favor of the lesbian juror, it would secure special protection for homosexuals.

Camenker is right. Why if gays are allowed to serve on juries, particularly in cases involving gay issues, the next thing you know, they will get uppity and want to be treated like regular human beings.

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