Marriage Tour Over but Still on the Road

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So everyone knows that the Summer for Marriage Tour wrapped up and wrapped up with a bang on Sunday the 15th but here I am on Wednesday the 18th and still on the road. Although most of the marriage tour crew has returned to their normal lives and daily routines, I volunteered to drive back down to Georgia to return the equipment we rented for the tour.

That meant a 9-hour, 600-mile trek down to Atlanta with a stop overnight in Pineville, NC. Remember Pineville? I stopped there on the way up to Maine to start the marriage tour and met my cousins for lunch at Olive Garden.

Well, I decided to do the same thing this time and met with my Uncle and one of my cousins for dinner at Applebee's. Olive Garden and Applebee's are my two favorite restaurants.

I had the Chicken Alfredo, my favorite pasta dish. However, the strawberry-lemonade they served was a bit weak in flavor and the one they brought me to replace it was even weaker so I just gave up on the drink at that point.

Logistical issues forced another overnight stay in Atlanta - I was trying to be able to drop off the equipment and get a start on the journey back home all in that same day but I ended up having to spend the night. Not a bad idea anyway, I was pretty tired after two days of less than five hours of sleep. It was great to be able to lie down to sleep before 10:00 PM.

While there, I ate dinner at Stevie B's Pizza. It was good and I even was adventurous with my food. I am usually a pretty simple eater. People say I'm picky but it's not about being picky, it's about wanting everything I eat to be simple. Anyway, I tried a slice of Smore's Pizza. It tasted more like cake than pizza but it was still pretty good and very sweet.

The next day, which is today, I left Atlanta and have been driving since about 10:00 AM. I'm an hour or so south of D.C. right now. I'm going there to return the NOM van and then catch a bus back home to Buffalo with an arrival time of 13:45 tomorrow. That will be the end of my Summer for Marriage travel which began on July 7th.


I have arrived at the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Washington, D.C., purchased my bus ticket for $83 and I am now waiting for the 10:00 pm departure for Buffalo. I am really happy I bought Broadband2Go this morning because now I won't be bored for the next 15 hours until I get home. I also have a Netflix account so I can and probably will be streaming movies. It's going to be great.

UPDATE: (3:04 AM AUGUST 19) 

After nearly five hours on the bus from D.C. I have arrived at the bus terminal in New York City. I'll be here until 5:40 AM when the bus leaves for Buffalo. I was able to get a few hours of sleep on the bus but spent the majority of the time speaking with two girls I met who are visiting the U.S. from Russia on the summer "Work and Travel" program. They live in New York City and were visiting D.C. for the day.
READ MORE - Marriage Tour Over but Still on the Road

Marriage Tour Finale Echoes Through D.C.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today the Summer for Marriage Tour, a project I helped create and organize over the past seven months has come to an end and it couldn't have wrapped up any better. 

We had Brian Brown, Bishop Harry Jackson, Reverand Walter Fauntroy, Commission Robert 'Bob' King, Bishop Neavelle Coles and a special pre-recorded message from Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Reverend Fauntroy helped plan the March on Washington where Dr. King delivered the "I Have A Dream' speech, he is a former member of the U.S. Congress and even ran for President back in 1972. 

The focus of his message today was that same-sex marriage does not fall into line with the kind of Civil Rights he has been fighting for nor does it fall into line with the kind of Civil Rights that where the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Honestly speaking, even I was a little surprised at today's turnout at the Capitol Building considering the fact that it was literally pouring this morning until about 11:00 AM just before we arrived on site.

Luckily, the rain had stopped by the time we arrived but it was still raining on and off up until about 1:00 PM or so, an hour before we were scheduled to get started. In fact, it was raining enough during set-up that we moved our podium and speakers under one of our tents. We were thinking up a contingency plan for what to do if it kept raining or worse - started to rain during the rally.

Do we use the stage or not? Well, using the stage puts the speaker up about 15 inches higher. That's great but the tent isn't high enough for that . What about taking the 15-inch legs and using the 8-inch legs? Is there enough room? No, still not enough room, no one can see the speaker's head. What about attaching the umbrella to the podium somehow? No, that's not going to work - not stable enough.

We were fortunate to see the rain subside and not be faced with that issue going into the rally.

We started our rally about 25 minutes late today. Seems there was some confusion about the location of the rally, as some of our attendees gathered and were waiting for us on the West Side of the Capitol Building - the side that faces the Washington Monument.

We were actually on the East Side. We also had some issues with parking. Heightened security and all, we had to park our van six blocks away at Union Station. So yes, we started a bit late but that was not a problem.

Today's rally was also streamed live over the Internet via UStream. We experimented with the idea for some of the earlier rallies but we either didn't have the equipment we needed or couldn't get it set up the right way or simply didn't have the extra pair of hands to operate the camera for it. We did today though, and at a peak, I believe some 300 people were viewing today's rally from all over the United States.

View of the DC rally from the rear. Aug. 15, 2010
Nearly as many, if not as many, physically attended today to stand up for marriage.

They came from all over. There were people from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and of course the District of Columbia.

All turned out for marriage between a man and a woman and what an inspiring event it really was.

By this time I had long forgotten about the rain and was busy taking pictures and shooting videos of all the people who came out to stand with us.

At first we were by ourselves and the planned protest of our rally was nowhere to be seen or heard. But that was short-lived. A group of them made there way towards our rally holding a sign that was created in honor of some of the participants friends who had been victims of violence because of their sexuality.

I understand the message and I think it's great that these people came out to stand against violence against homosexuals - we should all be standing up against this kind - or any kind of hate not only against homosexuals but everyone.

Our rally today was not a rally of hate or of violence or of the advocation of violence or hate. The people who attended our rally today were God-loving Christians who stood together to honor the institution of marriage and to stand up for the family. I therefore don't think there is much integrity or honesty in the attempt to link violence geared towards homosexuals to the effort to protect marriage between a man and a woman.

Protesters bear signs claiming NOM is responsible
for the deaths of victimized homosexuals. 
Yet those who came out to protest us today used their bullhorns to claim that the National Organization for Marriage's words are lies and even that they "lead to murder".

One sign, as shown to the right, goes as far as to say that "NOM has blood on its hands".

This was not necessary, completely untrue and it  merely demonstrates the campaign of deceit our opponents and running in order to gain sympathy for their cause.

Anyway, we also were given the opportunity to listen to Bishop Harry Jackson speak and he rocked the Capitol. He was really great and I have got a video I'm going to put up later on for everyone to have the opportunity of hearing his message.

Bishop Harry Jackson addresses the crowd
in Washington, D.C. on August 15, 2010.
The Bishop also attended our rally in Annapolis, MD earlier on in the tour but I believe he was recovering from a sickness or was simply not feeling well then.

So this was the first time I had the opportunity to listen to this man speak at full strength and it was incredible how he was able to inspire us all.

He led the crowd in a great chant of "Let the People Vote, Let the People Vote, Let the People Vote".

Of course our friends over at the Courage Campaign were at the rally today. By that I mean, the NOM Tour Trackers were walking around. Unfortunate how, to the very last rally they continued to identify themselves in rather shady ways. Most people we talked to after an interview with them told us they thought the NOM Tour Trackers were with us.

Think about it. You're at a rally hosted by the National Organization for Marriage (aka NOM) an organization many got acquainted with for the first time at the very same rally. Then you are approached by Arisha and Anthony who identify themselves "with the NOM Tour Tracker". I think it's fair to say that is less than honest.

I will at least give them credit for eventually admitting who they were with after someone would press for more information - and there were some who did that from time to time. It would have been nice if they just said "Hi, we're from the Courage Campaign out of California and we'd like to interview you," or something like that.

Talking about questions. Arisha loves to and is good at asking questions and can hold her own in a conversation. I've talked with her many times throughout the tour and although we disagree on this issue we've always been nice to each other. Now, I can't tell you what they say behind my back, maybe nothing, but generally speaking, they were respectful throughout the tour. So this is not an attack on Arisha or Anthony.

But like I said, Arisha likes to ask questions and grill Brian daily with what essentially amounts to the same conversation everyday. Arisha tries to get Brian to say certain things their readers want Brian to say in order to catch him in some kind of a contradiction or something like that and Brian gives his answers.

Now these answers are never satisfying to Arisha because she basically fails each time to get Brian to say something she could use against him.

NOM Tour Tracker "Arisha" from California ignores
woman speaking to her about God. 
That's why the majority of the interviews with Brian haven't been posted on their site. That's because the dialog between Brian and Arisha just helps our side and hurts theirs.

But the point of this is that Arisha doesn't seem to like it when the camera is on her or when she is being asked questions.

I happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch this shot of Arisha making a beeline for any exit she could when some woman, supporting our marriage rally, was speaking with Arisha.
Arisha wanted nothing of it.

However, to her credit, she did entertain an hour-long conversation with me after the Charleston, WV rally where, not to her credit, she said she wouldn't oppose the legalization of polygamy because it wouldn't personally affect her marriage.

She also didn't oppose the idea, hypothetically speaking, if her future child wanted to marry a man and a woman. This would be a triad marriage between three people. Arisha said she'd want to talk with said child and see where his or her heart was.

This came up when I asked her, on camera, if she believes it is possible to use the same legal argument she uses now for the legalization of same-sex marriage for the legalization of polygamy or other alternative forms of marriage.

So long story short, this woman, who represents the Courage Campaign, a gay-rights organization out of California, is on record not necessarily opposing polygamy or triad marriages. To be fair she did say that she  wouldn't personally engage in such activities.

Speaking about the Courage Campaign, I had the opportunity to meet it's chair today, Richard Jacobs. Apparently, he flew out from California for one last shot to put Brian on the spot. I guess they were getting frustrated with the lack of fodder Arisha was providing.

Richard Jacobs, Courage Campaign debates
Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage. 
Courage Campaign really needed to get Brian on the record saying something crazy or off-message so they replaced Arisha with the head-honcho.

As you can see, Arisha is in the background, having been relieved by her boss, and Anthony is filming.

He too, was unsuccessful.

You see, perhaps if our cause was actually centered around the hate and bigotry our opponents say it is, they'd be able to get us to say radical and hateful and bigoted things.

But when you're not talking to a radical or hateful or bigoted person, you're probably not going to hear them say hateful or bigoted things!

Such is the case when speaking with Brian Brown or anyone who supports marriage between a man and a woman including myself.

On another note, I spoke with Mr. Jacobs and he's a nice guy. We have something in common: Russia. We've both lived in Russia for some period of time and it was cool to exchange a few lines with each other in Russia. It's too bad that he has forgotten much of the language - it would have been fun to speak in Russian again.

It even took me a second and a few lines to get back into that phase. Switching to Russian after speaking only English for a few months takes a few seconds. Nice to meet you, Rick. You should have come to our other stops, too.
READ MORE - Marriage Tour Finale Echoes Through D.C.

Same-sex Marriage Returns to California... soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today we learned that Judge Vaughn Walker, who unilaterally overtured millions of votes last week by striking down California's voter-approved Proposition 8, denied the motion to stay his decision while the appeals process takes its course.

However, that doesn't mean that same-sex couples have already started marrying today, although thousands of same-sex couples lined up around the state in anticipation of making August 12, 2010 their wedding anniversary date. From the Judge's decision on the matter of the stay:

"That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5 PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8." - Judge Walker's Final Stay Order of August 12, 2010

So what that means, assuming that city halls and courthouses across the state close at 5 PM as most government offices tend to do, is that same-sex couples will not be able to marry until the morning of August 19th. That is essentially an extention of the Judge's original temporary stay by one week.

Now it hasn't been unheard of to see some city halls opening their doors early in order to permit same-sex couples to marry sooner. It wouldn't be a big surprise if some city halls decided to stay open into the evening or night on August 18th in order to allow same-sex couples to marry immediately once the judgement becomes official that Proposition 8 can no longer be enforced.

Proponents of Proposition 8 have already filed their appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Most importantly, the extention of the temporary stay by another week will perhaps give the legal team defending Proposition 8 the time they need to request and possibly recieve an injunction order from the Appeals Court that would effectively maintain the legality of Proposition 8 until said Appeals Court could issue a decision.

Either way, at this point same-sex couples are one week away from being able to marry each other but we will monitor the situation and provide updates whenever possible.

Should same-sex marriage resume in California, in the event that the Court of Appeals does not issue an injuction, then may we only wish that any same-sex marriages that do take place there be successful and bring happiness to our homosexual friends.

UPDATE: (11:25 PM August 16, 2010)

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an injunction against Judge Walker's ruling, effectively staying his ruling throughout the appeals process. This means that same-sex marriages will not be taking place in California anytime soon, although many city and county government offices were preparing to stay open late to perform such marriages.

The order itself can be found and read here.
READ MORE - Same-sex Marriage Returns to California... soon.

Halloween comes early to Orlando

Monday, August 9, 2010

If you were in Winter Park on Sunday, you might have had an early glimpse at Halloween. The National Organization for Marriage held a "One Man, One Woman" marriage rally at the First Christian Church of Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando, FL and those who showed up to protest our rally let it all out in the strangest protest of the Summer for Marriage Tour yet.

This man put it all on but forgot the trick-or-treat bag. He stood there holding his sign and when he noticed I was taking his picture, he smiled and waved. Then he encouraged everyone to "smile for the NOM camera".

Few of them did but he was not alone. There were many protesters assembled in front of the church dressed in a variety of costumes, many of which were a size or two too small. Not to mention the face paint - the thick white face paint. I was confused if they were going for the "V for Vendetta" look, the "Internet Troll" look or if they just wanted to plaster on the make up. Either way their appearance did not help.

Who can look at a crowd of people holding signs and yelling about equality when they are dressed like that? Who is going to take them seriously? The mere costume itself draws people's attention away from their signs and off their message.

They weren't reading their signs or listening to their calls for 'equality', they were looking at their costumes and probably laughing at them. It doesn't bother me, though. If they want to dress like that it just helps the effort to protect marriage. Especially with those people still on the fence or undecided or apethetic people. Honestly, which side would you stand on?

And let's not brush this man aside as a fringe element of that protest. He was not alone. He was joined by a handful of other men dressed in the very same way. The dress, the face paint, the make up, the combat boots, the wedding veil, the biker gloves.

Here is another man dressed in another dress. This time it's pink and for extra fun and mockery, he's wearing a cross around his neck and black elbow-length gloves. Oh, and a purse and the especially large ornament on his finger he must have borrowed from Lady Gaga.

Now don't take this the wrong way. This has nothing to do with teasing these men or saying they can't dress however they want. I do want to point out that if you want to be taken seriously in the public square you should take a look at how you present yourself.

I would really like to know what the purpose of attending their protest dressed in this fashion was. I don't see any reason to do it. Sure, perhaps they like to wear women's clothing but that doesn't have anything to do with the debate over same-sex marriage and it didn't have anything to do with why we went to Winter Park yesterday.

Although there were more men dressed in dresses and white face paint that I could count with one hand, they were not the only group of protesters who came 'dresssed for the occasion'. These next two men dressed in a way that could only be attributed to their blantant will to mock Christianity.

Don't forget the setting. The First Christian Church of Winter Park. At least the men above may be dressed in a way that represents the sex they consider themselves to be. It was inappropriate and unnecessary for the event but what these two men did was just an attempt to show disrespect and disdain for the church.

I don't think anyone can argue that what these two wore had anything to do with same-sex marriage, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity or anything close to it. It was a real display of mockery - or they just turned out early for trick-or-treat.

So I assume they are trying to pose as angels as they stand in front of the church.

However, they didn't stop at that.

One of them actually took to the center of the road and stood in the middle of traffic. What was the point? What did they seek to achieve?

Why would they come to a protest, supposedly organized to push for their 'equal' rights and then mock the religious beliefs of not only those who were in attendance at our rally inside but the millions of Christians across the Nation?

Yes they did seem to be attracted to the middle of the road. The 'angel' you see above wasn't the only one to take to the street to greet the drivers passing by at 30 mph.

This second man almost tripped over himself as he ran across the street and in front of oncoming traffic sideways.

Not only did he not look both ways before he crossed like I'm sure his mother taught him to as a child, but he purposely jumped out in front of moving traffic.

It's not setting a good example for the kids that were at their protest. One of which they had yelling their twisted chants and holding thier signs.

"They're lost," one of our supporters told me as he stood nearby the church holding one of our "One Man, One Woman" marriage signs. He told me he would pray that they could find Jesus.

The marriage rally was held inside due to poor weather conditions.
READ MORE - Halloween comes early to Orlando

Alveda King clarifies meaning of Civil Rights at rally

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dr. Alveda King speaks at the "One Man, One Woman" marriage rally
in Atlanta, Georgia on August 7, 2010 at the State Capitol.

After a long drive from Saint Louis, MO and a few hours sleep we were right back at it today in Atlanta, GA standing up for what is right and for what is best for our society and our children and our future.

This time we were standing up with Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Director of African American Outreach of Priests for Life.

The significance of having the opportunity to work with Dr. Alveda King today is clear. Our opponents have been grasping onto - in fact hijacking the Civil Rights Movement for the advancement of their own agenda. Today we were able to set the record straight about civil rights is all about - at least the kind of civil rights her uncle fought and died for - and that is what Dr. Alveda King sought to do today by joining us in defense of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

In an interview I held with her after the rally, Alveda taked about her beliefs on this matter.

Question 1: Do you think we should separate our faith from our government? 
Reasoning: Our opponents repeatively claim that the principle of separation of church and state demand that we keep our private faith beliefs out of the public square.

DR. ALVEDA KING'S ANSWER: Well, I'm always looking for a unity of the faith and that's the people coming together in faith. Government can not govern our hearts and so when it comes to an issue of faith that's going to be we the people rising up in faith doing what we know in our hearts is right.

The government can not mandate that, the government really can not control that and so the government should not keep people from voting.

Question 2: We have heard some comparisons between the legalization of same-sex marriage and the legalization of interracial marriages. Do you think there is a legitimate comparison between the two?
A protester in Atlanta holds a
sign that says "People of different
colors couldn't marry until 1967"
which is a reference to the
Loving v. Virginia case. 
Reasoning: Our opponents constantly cite the Loving v. Virginia case that struck down bans on interracial marriages as reasoning to strike down bans on same-sex marriage. They think they are one in the same. 

DR. ALVEDA KING'S ANSWER: There is one race on the planet and that's the human race and of one blood everybody was made. And so to tell two people that they can't marry because of differences in skin color is against the foundational understanding that is in our hearts that we're one race.

So any man of any complexion can marry any woman of any complexion and that lines up with the Bible. Now, the civil rights of all human beings, and the rights to human dignity also can be found in the Bible and the Biblical principles.

Now the issue of two men marrying or two women marrying of course in direct opposition to what's there. And so therefore, it's not a civil right... when you consider the question of sexuality, the guidelines are clear.

They are inherently made within us that two men or two women can not procreate. So the civil rights question would follow closely to the natural laws that are in the Bible and there are no natural laws that say that two men or two woman can procreate and therefore they should not marry.

Question 3: Some of our opponents say that defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman is really an act of hatred towards homosexuals. What do you think about that?
Reasoning: Our opponents think that we hate them and that our cause is centered around a mutual hatred of homosexuals. 

DR. ALVEDA KING'S ANSWER: Many times a lack of understanding causes us to feel as though someone hates us. And so we love everybody. Everyone that God created is deserving of love. Love and sexuality are two different things.

And so the discussion comes down to - the debate comes up that you're going to be mad with me because I'm going to have sex... however I want to have sex. We're not going to be mad with anybody but we must point out that sexuality has a purpose - that purpose is procreation and procreation occurs when there is sex between a man and a woman.

One man's sperm and one woman's egg come together to make a baby and so that is the process that we are upholding and that is the process that is protected by marriage between one man and one woman.

Question 4: How do you feel about our opponents using the Civil Rights Movement for the advancement of their own cause? 
Reasoning: Advocates of same-sex marriage often quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and use the Civil Rights Movement he led and died for as a foundation of the homosexual agenda to redefine marriage.

DR. ALVEDA KING'S ANSWER: I believe that all human beings should get a full understanding of what the meaning of civil rights is. Civil rights means human rights. And that means dignity from conception until natural death.

And so if we are fighting for human dignity and human rights then our own personal desires and preferences and doing what we want does not measure into that equation. And so people who disagree with the principles and the standards of Natural Law which can also be called Bible Law - that's when you get into the differences and the discussion.

And so I believe that those who feel as though they are hated or that we are against them should reexamine their own hearts and the basis of Natural Law and what they will find in us and in those principles is the love of God and love will not fail anybody.

*NOTE:  A video of this interview will be available soon and a link will be added here in order to view it.

It was a great honor to meet Dr. Alveda King and it was great to stand beside her in our mutual struggle.

Vernessa Mitchell
Angelica Tucker
After Dr. King's comments, we had a special show for Atlanta in store. Two soloists came with Alveda and performed for us. They really did a great job and their songs really made our stop in Atlanta special.

The singer to the right, Angelica Tucker, provided an emotionally charged performance singing "Rebuild", a song she wrote herself.

The singer to the left, Vernessa Mitchell, followed Angelica and put on a great performance singing "Unity", a song which drew the attention and the applause of our opponents. Vernessa was an honored performer at the Inaugural Ball for President Clinton.

It was nice to find something in common with the counter-protesters, Brian Brown joked at the podium.

It was indeed humorous seeing our opponents dancing and singing to the performers at our rally. It really lightened things up today and that is something that we should be encouraging to happen between our two sides more often.

We've seen so much hate from our opponents throughout the course of the marriage tour alone from Albany to Providence to Madison. To see our opponents stnad with us in appreciation of art and music was a nice breath of fresh air. I mean, look at them.
Protesters dance, sing and hold hands during performance of Vernessa Mitchell,
a supporter of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. 

READ MORE - Alveda King clarifies meaning of Civil Rights at rally

Iowa leg of Summer for Marriage Tour wraps up

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Today we held our second and final rally in the Hawkeye State in Sioux City, IA near Iowa's border with Nebraska and South Dakota. Iowa is a particularly important part of our marriage tour given the relevancy of the issue here.

Last spring, a handful of non-elected justices legalized same-sex marriage through judicial activism. Well, this year three of those justices are on the ballot in November and the people will have the opportunity to retain them or to vote them out. The message we have been pushing in Iowa this week has been to vote them out.

"One Man, One Woman" marriage rally
Sioux City, IA (August 3, 2010)
Our rally today in Sioux City attracted about 80 people. Our opponents claim that only 56 showed up but that of course, is because they need to make it sound like there were more people at their same-sex 'marriage' rally they held than who showed up to support authentic marriage between a man and a woman.

They can take a picture from forty feet away and count the heads they see. Sure from that point of view and in a two-dimensional photo, there very well may be only 56 heads visible. But said photo lacks important aspects such as depth which is why their head count of 56 is about 25 heads short.

There's no way one photo from one vantage point is going to show each person standing in a group! It's a  very simple concept yet our opponents have made this mistake time and time again - but the point is that it actually isn't a mistake.

They are doing this on purpose because if NOM appears to have high turnouts or at the very least turnouts that are greater than their counter protests, then they lose.

This is why time and time again we see their estimates of our turnouts to be lower than media reports and more importantly, lower than their counter-protest turnout. The first thing they posted today was about turnout focusing on 56 NOM supporters and a convienently slightly higher 64 same-sex marriage supporters.

Volunteers signing up to join us in our effort to
protect marriage across the country.
Regardless of their tactics, we've continued our stride to sign up 2 million Americans who stand with us for traditional marriage by signing up a bunch of new supporters today.

As Brian has been reporting, we've got 750 thousand now and we need two million and one of the reasons we are doing this Summer for Marriage Tour is to get out there and reach out to rational American citizens who are ready to stand up with us for marriage between a man and a woman.

Rational Americans with their moral compasses properly calibrated like these people you see are the ones who have in the past and who are going to protect marriage in the future. The National Organization for Marriage is working to organize and activate these people.

This woman was excited to sign up and wanted
to say a few things so we interviewed her on camera.
Challenge: Find these two women signing up to join the NOM team in the picture of the rally above.

If you can't find both of them, then you must admit that no picture (unless taken from above) is going to show every person assembled in a group at a rally which then by default tells you that the tally our opponents made by counting heads in a taken in a picture from forty feet away must be inaccurate.

What about this woman in the purple shirt? Can you find here in the first picture in this article? If not, does that mean that she wasn't there?

Again, we saw an exceptionally low turnout of counter protesters at our rally today. In fact, so low were their numbers I was able to count all of them with one hand.

This is because generally speaking, the people of Iowa do not support same-sex marriage and believe in authentic marriage between a man and a woman.

Our stalkers from California were also there milling around and "radioing in" to their colleagues out in California. Much to my surprise, they didn't go for another one-on-two exclusive interview with Brian Brown again.

They must have gotten tired of having the same conversation everyday. Especially since the conversation doesn't go quite the way they stay up all night planning it on their blogs.
READ MORE - Iowa leg of Summer for Marriage Tour wraps up

Standing up for Marriage Equality

Monday, August 2, 2010

I don't know what all the fuss is about. Everyday we hear cries from our opponents that they just want marriage equality. Well, marriage equality is something we can all stand up for. It doesn't matter if you are gay, straight, black or white. Marriage is an equal right and let me tell you why.

The strategy our opponents take in this debate is to paint those of us who support marriage between a man and a woman as bigots, as haters, and those who support a policy of discrimination. This is not the case.

Of course there are extremists on our side as there are extremists on our opponents side. People who advocate for the killing of homosexuals or any hatred of anyone is an extremist and I don't stand with them and in this case I will speak for NOM when I say that they don't stand with them, either.

I believe both sides of this issue can and must stand against hate speech whether it comes from our side or their side. The problem with that is, our opponents often consider every word we utter to be hate speech. That's hyperbolic at best but has been a somewhat effective strategy within their circle of supporters. There's a lot of preaching to the choir going on over there.

A two-inch hole in the wheel
was punctured while in New Jersey
Unfortunately, our opponents have not had the courage to stand up and repudiate the kind of hatred we witnessed this summer in New Jersey, when one of their supporters punctured a tire on the NOM RV or in Albany when they intimidated a mother and her three small children or in Providence when they actually stormed the podium.

Angry homosexual activists
stormed the podium and screamed
in the face of our speakers.
The face of tolerance. 
Anyway, I would like to get back to the issue of marriage equality, which I support. The problem is our opponents have taken on a twisted and tainted idea of what marriage equality is.

Let me demonstrate what marriage equality exactly is all about.

Marriage equality means that everyone is subject to the same marriage laws as everyone else. Contrary to what our opponents believe, this is exactly the case in this country. There are four basic rules everyone must follow in order to get married.

The first rule, and there's really no specific order, but for the sake of listing them, rule number one says that you can't marry someone under the age of 18 without parental consent. So this basically means marry an adult.

Rule two says that you can only marry someone who is not already married. So this basically means no polygamy. Fair enough, right? I think so far everyone is in agreement. Do not marry children and do not marry people who are already married.

Moving onto rule number three. Again, we will have basically universal agreement here. Do not marry someone in your immediate family. So, in other words, no incestual marriages.

These three rules exist for the sake of society and the health of the family. Rule number four, which says that you must marry someone of the opposite sex also exists for the very same reasons!

Anyone who follows these basic rules can get married and that is the kind of marriage equality that I believe in. It is equal application of the law regardless of race, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Everyone has to follow the same rules, pay the same application fees, wait the same waiting periods and then get married.  That is marriage equality!

An application for a marriage license from Hawaii.
So now I would like to examine an application to marry from the State of Hawaii.

I am using Hawaii here simply because it is the first one I came across and I'm certain it is basically identical to the application for a marriage license you come across in other states.

So if you look at the application, you will see a place on the form that determines the eligibility of the couple to marry with respect to the rules I laid out above. The couple must demonstrate they are adults, that they have different parents, that they are single (may need to show proof of the dissolution of previous marriage) and that there is one man and one woman.

These are the factors at play for the issuance of a marriage license!  What that means is that anyone who mets these basic eligibity requirements can get the marriage license. Notice, you don't see any questions on the application about sexual orientation. You don't see any questions on the form that could in anyway provide the clerk with the information about he or she would need to discriminate against gays or lesbians.

How can you discriminate against someone because they are gay or lesbian when you don't know because you never asked and they never had to inform you of which way they swing?

Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey
Don't think it can happen? Here's a picture of a gay man who was able to follow the rules and who did marry in accordance with the laws that are equally applied to everyone.

His name is Jim McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey and he is a homosexual.

His sexual infidelity eventually led to divorce as sexual infidelity leads to many divorces across the Nation but the fact remains that this homosexual man was permitted to marry because he followed the same laws everyone else follows every day.

Marriage equality.

This is where the deception of our opponents becomes clear. They use bumper-sticker slogans to paint a picture that people like myself and organizations like the National Organization for Marriage want to stop gays and lesbians from marrying altogether!

Yes, effective propaganda tool but completely untrue and outright deceptive. People like myself who believe in marriage between a man and a woman do not hold grudges against gays or lesbians personally. Contrary to their beliefs, it isn't all about them afterall. It's about the meaning and of marriage and the purpose of marriage.

The problem is our opponents are mixing up their personal purposes for getting married with the actual purpose of marriage. Their purposes for getting married are about commitment to their partner, about love for their partner, etc. Noble.

Unfortunately, commitment and love are not the purposes of marriage itself. Sure, people get married because they love each other but it's not the purpose of marriage The purpose of marriage is about bringing the two sexes together to create a family and bring about the next generation.

People misuse things all the time. Take knives for example. The purpose of a knife is to cut food, not to kill people. Yet, people use knives all the time to stab people. The purpose of a knife and a person's purpose for using the knife are often completely separate.

Take a look at the slogan used by those who support the second amendment: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." The reasons people use guns do not always match up to the reasons guns exist.

This is something two people of the same sex are incapable of doing no matter how you look at it. So I'd like to emphasize that the effort to protect marriage between a man and a woman is not about hatred of gays or lesbians, it's not about discrimination or trying to stop gays and lesbians from marrying altogether. It's about preserving the meaning of marriage as the central core bedrock of our society.

It is our opponents who are working to change things, to redefine things. As one of our opponents recently said in Madison "We are redefining marriage"... my question is this: If you are redefining marriage, then that must mean that you are taking something old and creating something new.

Then that means the goal is not just removing discriminatory practices from marriage as our opponents would have you believe.

Let us thank the millions in this country who have their moral compasses properly calibrated who are standing up against this radical redefinition of our cultural (and religious) beliefs and liberties.
READ MORE - Standing up for Marriage Equality

Update from the road: Iowa

Sunday, August 1, 2010

So now I am writing from western Iowa. We have basically arrived in Sioux City, but I don't know off hand what highway it is. I know that we were on the 80W.

We are going to Sioux City because we are holding a rally there on Tuesday to stand up for geniune marriage between a man and a woman. I say geniune, and I've made this point before, because a piece of paper doesn't make you married. A piece of paper gives you access to a series of benefits afforded to married couples but it doesn't make you married.

I say this because of this picture taken by one of our stalkers over at the NOM Tour Tracker.

It's a sign held by one of our opponents today in Des Moines (we held a good rally there earlier today at th State Capital) was holding a sign that said she was married to her parner for 9 months and was thanking the State of Iowa for that.

These people are not married.

Marriage is between a man and a woman and taking something and molding it into the shape of marriage and then giving it the name of marriage doesn't make it marriage! It is merely a mockery of marriage and that is what these so-called "same-sex marriages" amount to.

Now this couple may very well be wonderful people. They may be great people individually and according to some, they may even make a cute couple. It's not about that. I am not attacking them individually or personally but I am attacking the misunderstanding these women share about marriage. And that misunderstanding, that fallacy, is that marriage is only about love and commitment.

Today's rally was quite good. It wasn't our largest turnout but that could be understood taking into consideration the heat. It was really hot. I drank two bottles of water within that hour rally and I hardly ever drink water at all. We actually had to set up our stage area closer to trees because everyone wanted to stand or sit in the shade. So ten minutes before we were supposed to start, Brian came over to us and asked us to relocate everything.

So we rushed and packed everything up and carried it down another flight of stairs and set the whole stage, speakers, sound equipment right there by the water fountain in front of the State Capital.

We were ultimately able to start on time but that just demonstrates how hot it actually was today. As you can see, our 150+ supporters gathered in the shade to escape the hot glaring sunshine.

Our stalkers over at the NOM Tour Tracker love to downplay the turnout we have at our rallies. The last thing they want is for the public to see a strong turnout of Americans who support marriage between a man and a woman only.

That is why they have been constantly claiming that our turnouts have been very low. Now this picture shows about fifty people but it is taken from within the crowd. A conservative estimate would be 150 yet the stalkers from Califrornia claim we had less than 90. They do this so that they can (and they have) claim that the counter-protesters who show up to interfere with the rally "outnumber" our supporters.

Now I don't remember the last time I used the word "outnumber". Really, it isn't a very common word but our stalkers from California have got the word "outnumber" or a variation of it 5 times on their homepage. For them, it is imperative that they paint a picture that those who support marriage between a man and a woman are a minority, that we're on the wrong side history.

Then again, maybe they were too busy interviewing Brian Brown (again) to really get a good headcount.

Honestly speaking, I didn't see them walking around our crowd counting heads so perhaps their estimate is the number of people they were able to count from a particular angle but as you can see in photo, that crowd was pretty deep.

You've got to give credit to Brian for dealing with these people who want to have the same conversation everyday.

Everytime they have approached him he has been more than willing to take 10+ minutes and grant them exclusive interview after exclusive interview when we all know they leave the rally and hold a pow wow to decide how they can plaster the interview on their website and use it against Brian.

So overall, we had another successful rally in Des Moines and signed up more supporters. Each stop we make we sign up more and more all in our effort to sign up 2 million Americans from across the Nation who support marriage between a man and a woman only.

Once we've reached that goal (we've got 750k now), we'll have the political power and foundation to effect the change we want to see in places like Iowa and to prevent changes we want to avoid in places like California in 2012 when the homosexual activists are planning to go after the Golden State again.

UPDATE: (00:20 August 2, 2010) 
A recently posted article from KCCI News out of Des Moines says the rally "drew more than 100 people to the Iowa State Capitol to voice support for traditional marriage." Here is the full story
READ MORE - Update from the road: Iowa


November 2010

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