On Friday I found a bunch of recent news stories about the same-sex marriage issue. One of the stories inspired me to write this NYARBB blog post, which I may also use as the beginning of a NYARBB pamphlet to be distributed at the Queens Gay Pride march.
Below are the recent news stories. (I've bolded who/what/when/where details that I want to research further.)
- Same-sex marriage debate heats up in New York by John King, CNN, Fri May 22, 2009 - links to a collection of news stories involving the so-called National Organization for Marriage, said to be headed by Maggie Gallagher. All these stories, so far, are about Carrie Prejean (Miss California USA), whom the NOM has adopted as a spokesperson.
- Ad Campaign Slams Same-Sex Marriage in NY, WNYC, May 28, 2009 - just describes the ad, after describing the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) as "the conservative Christian group that helped push through Proposition 8, the bill that defeated same-sex marriage in California."
- Another story from CNN, Group targets New York same-sex marriage bill in new ads by Martina Stewart, May 28, 2009 - contains a detailed description of the ad and then says, "The ads are being supported by a $100,000 ad buy in Long Island and the Albany-Schenectady area, according the National Organization for Marriage."
- Battle over same sex marriage continues by Erin Billups, Capital News 9, May 29, 2009 - briefly mentions the National Organization and then has more to say about "another group, the Coalition to Save Marriage in New York," which "says all of its 14 member organizations have beefed up their opposition as well." This story contains several quotes from Stephen Hayford, identified as the co-founder of the Coalition to Save Marriage in New York. These groups have been quite active, apparently: "Last week, Republican Senator Jim Alesi, identified as one lawmaker who may be on the fence regarding the issue, said his office was getting close to 100 calls a day from gay marriage opponents. North Country Republican Betty Little says she's getting the calls, too, more with each passing week and now as many 50 a day." The story concludes by saying, "There will be a rally at the Capitol June 9th, organized by groups opposed to same sex marriage, the first of kind in Albany this year."
- Group Begins Ad Blitz Against Same-Sex Marriage by Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, May 27, 2009 - about a TV ad campaign by the National Organization for Marriage (identified as a conservative Christian group) in the New York City and Albany markets. "The National Organization for Marriage said its initial ad spending, which includes the television commercial and a radio spot, was just over $100,000." The article also contains some quotes from founder Maggie Gallagher.
- ’Gathering Storm’ Group Releases New Anti-Gay Ad in NY by Kilian Melloy, EDGE (Boston, MA), Friday May 29, 2009 - mentions that the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is "a New Jersey-based group." The EDGE site also says, "The NOM site’s text solicits contributions and encourages New York residents to contact their state Senators at (518) 455-2800 about the issue." Of course, people on our side should do the same.
Here is a collection of quotes by Maggie Gallagher. From it, I found a bunch of earlier news stories.
Hare are some of those earlier stories:
- N.J. group makes waves in Calif. gay marriage debate: National Organization for Marriage leads in ban attempt, Washington Blade, Jul 25 2008 -- an older article about the NOM, which led the campaign for California's state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. This article mentions that NOM was founded by "Maggie Gallagher, a syndicated columnist," and "Robert George, a Princeton University professor." This article also mentions "Len Deo, the president of the Family Policy Council of New Jersey." About fundraising, this article says:
- Calif. win emboldens coalition of religious groups by Lisa Leff, Associated Press (via Fox News), Friday, November 07, 2008 - about NOM's win in California:
NOM, a taxable political advocacy group that can raise money without contribution limits, has quickly built up some fundraising muscle. It started a California chapter in January. By March, the group had raised just over $775,000, according to campaign finance filings. Only the California umbrella group ProtectMarriage.com has raised more for the cause. While NOM's biggest chunk in California -- $250,000 -- came from the Knights of Columbus, the group has also raised smaller amounts from individuals. The group says it has now raised over $1 million in California and more than $2 million overall."
Leaders of the successful Proposition 8 campaign say an unusual coalition of evangelical Christians, Mormons and Roman Catholics built a majority at the polls Tuesday by harnessing the organizational muscle of churches to a mainstream message about what school children might be taught about gay relationships if the ban failed....
Gallagher said anti-gay marriage groups plan to focus next on New Jersey and New York, where the state legislatures are being lobbied to pass laws legalizing same-sex marriage.
The plan is to mobilize the same religious factions that joined forces in California to deter lawmakers from "taking on this divisive social issue while we are in the middle of a huge financial crisis," Gallagher said.
Campaign operatives attribute their success to the churches, which served as voter registration centers, phone banks and volunteer recruitment hubs.
Religious institutions also gave Proposition 8's sponsors an avenue to a range of ethnic voters, including many Democrats, said Mat Staver, who heads the Florida-based Christian legal group Liberty Counsel.
Catholic and evangelical Hispanics and African-American Baptists stood alongside conservative white evangelicals in arguing for traditional marriage. Exit polls showed 70 percent of blacks supported the ban, a far higher percentage than any other race.
"This is an issue that ... transcends political ideology, religious affiliations, races and time and history," said Staver. "It brings people together who ordinarily wouldn't be sitting at the same table together."
The article also points to overconfidence and apathy, on the part of gay rights supporters, as another key factor, quoting some gay rights activists to that effect.