‘Capital’ columnist calls out NOM push poll; 4 out of 5 NOM staffers unlikely to care

We’ve already shown you how the guy behind NOM’s supposedly trustworthy poll on Maryland marriage, Gary Lawrence, was deep in the pocket of the Prop 8 crowd, distributing a whole host of information that supported the ballot measure more on the basis of Lucifer than any sound constitutional law. Now, Erik Hartley from The Capital newspaper is looking at another aspect: The sheer bias in NOM’s lines of questioning. Here’s a snip and link to full:

Say you’re an interest group that wants to make it seem as if the public is on your side. Just commission a poll, ask the questions a certain way and voilĂ ! You have the poll result you wanted.

That’s what an anti-gay-marriage group has just done.

After a recent Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies poll showed most Marylanders now support same-sex marriage, the National Organization for Marriage decided it wanted a different result.

It complained that the Gonzales poll’s question (“Would you favor or oppose a law in Maryland allowing same-sex couples to marry, giving them the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples in areas such as tax exemptions, inheritance and pension coverage?”) was biased. A “strong, pro-gay marriage bias” was the exact wording.

So NOM asked it this way: “As far as you personally are concerned, should marriage be between a man and a woman, or should it also be available to same-sex couples?”

Hmm. Why the phrase “as far as you personally are concerned”? Perhaps to appeal to people’s visceral discomfort with gay people? Note that the question does not ask about the proposed law; it asks about values — “as far as you personally are concerned” — and how you think the world “should” be.

KEEP READING: If you want a different answer… [Annapolis Capital blog]

**EARLIER: Lawrence vs. Hexes: The eye-opening spiritual war behind NOM’s new Maryland poll [G-A-Y]

Good As You

—  David Taffet

Marriage CoMission Summit: Unlikely to serve KFC, gays’ pro-equality interests

This post will build on our last one, in which we highlighted some level of connection between Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape Foundation and Jennifer Roback Morse’s Ruth Institute (an affiliate of the National Organization For Marriage). So if you haven’t read that earlier post, now if your chance to (a) get caught up or (b) run away now. We won’t be offended ro talk about you while you’re gone. Honestly.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten rid of those lazy slackers and are all on the same “culture war”-obsessed page: We must tell you that we’ve discovered further connections between Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape program and the entire “protect marriage” movement. Not just to the Pennsylvania Family Institute. Not just to the Ruth Institute. But to the organized marriage movement in this country — period.

Oh yea: And this time we have much of it on video, via internal documents, in photos, and through other fun things. Let’s go:

Alright, so it turns out that Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape Foundation, as part of its marriage outreach efforts, has partnered with other “pro-family” groups on something called The Marriage CoMission. Oh, and that’s not a typo — it’s one “m.” As in a mission that they’re all “co”-ing in on. A mission that (spoiler alert) doesn’t want to hear “Here Comes The Bride” either pluralized or masculinized.

On said CoMission, Winshape/Chick-Fil-A are very well represented. There’s Jeff Fray, who, by all accounts, largely steers the CoMission’s ship:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 7.05.55 Pm

But even more than Fray: The CoMission’s most prominent representation comes from Bubba Cathy, the scion of Chick-Fil-A’s pickled bun dynasty:


And there are other WinShape/Chick-a-dees involved. Full leadership list here.

Okay, so every year in December, this CoMission gather group of prominent marriage stalwarts to strategize how they can strengthen their movement. But they don’t just get together anywhere. No, no — they all get together at WinShape’s own Georgia Retreat. Here’s the Summit’s purpose statement, initial signatories (from folks like professional “gay-changer” Alan Chambers), and a link to the full charter:


[Full Charter]

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 7.16.32 Pm

735390902 Szxja-M

And like most things in the “protect marriage” movement, this summit seems to grow in conservative prominence by the year. By 2008, the participant list had grown to include folks like David Blankenhorn, Alveda King, and Focus on the Family president Jim Daly:

2008 Bios

Some brief highlights from that year’s banquet: FoTF’s Daly made sure to thank the Cathys (i.e. Chick-Fil-A) for bringing the movement together:

WinShape’s Jeff Fray praised Blankenhorn for his prowess in the same-sex marriage debate:

And there’s much more. We’re making our way through literally hours of ’08 clips; we’ll post more that we deem pertinent to our movement.

Though for our interests of today, it’s really the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Summit that hold our interest. So let’s start, naturally, with 2009. That’s the year that the gay marriage movement players who really have our attention started attending the summit. Players like, for example: Maggie Gallagher and Jennifer Roback Morse:

2009 Bios

Agenda Participant

Morse’s ’09 participation is of course interesting because of our earlier post, where we undeniably connected her Ruth Institute (which again, is a NOM affiliate) directly to the WinShape Foundation’s forthcoming LoveIsHere.com project. Which, incidentally, is the very project that segues us to the 2010 Summit.

For 2010 (which just took place in the first week of December), we don’t yet have handy video or pictures or participant lists or really much of a concrete agenda to follow. However, we do have #something to let us know what went on. Namely: We have tweets. Tweets from Summit participants like Bull Coffin, who tells us that this soon-to-be-launched LoveIsHere.com site was prominently touted at WinShape 2010:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 8.00.34 Pm


Reminder: The same LoveIsHere.com that is hosting the Ruth Institute’s contest videos. The same Ruth Institute that works daily to stop basic civil fairness for same-sex couples. The same WinShape that is a product of the Chick-Fil-A chain and its more than 1,400 locations in 38 states and D.C. The same Chick-Fil-A that began this week with national questions, due to a (now-scrubbed) sponsorship claim from Pennsylvania’s leading anti-marriage equality group. Same, same, same, same, same.

As with all other developments from this week, we’re simply highlighting the known reality. No boycott calls. No petitions. No personal attacks. If all of these groups are proud of these bonds that they’ve made, then they will have zero problem with us bringing these undeniable connections to light. It will be just ho-hum, the way it would be if they highlighted our alliance with just about any group or corporation fighting for basic equality.

But if the reaction is to resort to the same messenger-shooting we’ve already seen this week? Well, then that will be more telling than anything we could ever write, now won’t it?

Good As You

—  admin

Why Perry v. Schwarzenegger is unlikely to reach the US Supreme Court if we win

For a few months now, I have known about the potential that Perry v. Schwazennegger may not reach the US Supreme Court due to a standing problem that only the sharpest of the legal eagles picked up on, but I was not certain until Judge Walker denied a particular motion.

The good news is: Prop 8 will be struck down and marriages will be resuming if not next week, than in the next few months.   The bad news is, SCOTUS will likely not take the case if we win (not that that is neccesarily a bad thing, as we can still hit SCOTUS if Perry/AFER wins).

Here is why….

Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for a stay

Read pages 5, 6, and 7.  Under Diamond v. Charles and Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, the Proposition 8 Proponents (the Defendant-Intervenors) have do not have what is called “Article III” beyond the trial court.  Only GOVERNMENT intervenors have the ability to appeal.

San Francisco's Motion to Intervene Response

Imperial County's attempt to Intervene

You see, The Proposition 8 Proponents realized that they screwed up royally.   They didn't realize until months after AFER filed their case that they had no standing to appeal the case because they were not governmental intervenors under the Diamond and Arizonans for Official English Supreme Court cases.  

That is why they called up the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and asked them intervene.  Judge Walker finally ruled the day he released the Perry decision to deny Imperial County's motion.

You can see the entire Perry docket here.

By filing the motion to the court today to point out the elephant in the room, that the Proposition 8 Proponents have no standing on appeal by themselves without a governmental entity appealing on their behalf, AFER and San Francisco just publicly decapitated Yes On Eight's standing.

Yes there will be appeals, and yes AFER should get ready to take it to SCOTUS and should not rest on it's laurels and make the best case possible for equality as high as it will go, but the chances of this getting to SCOTUS just went from 100 percent certainty to less than 20 percent as soon as they filed that motion.  Remember, AFER's job with suing over Prop 8 was to get the plaintiffs (as well as anyone similarly situated who resides or visits California) marriage licenses.  As attorneys, not pointing out that the Yes on 8 doesn't have appellate standing would be a dereliction of their duty as the attorneys for the two couples.  They want to win for them, as well as striking down Article 1 Section 7.5 of the California Constitution so that everyone in California can enjoy the right that was taken from them bigoted voting majority in November 2008….

Never fear, however. AFER can always file in another state.   This goes to show that AFER plays three dimensional chess while the opponents to our equality play checkers.  I hear Washington and Oregon is nice this time of year…..

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright