AUDIO: National Organization for Marriage wants Starbucks to pay ‘price’ in Middle East
The statements came during a NOM conference call Thursday evening, which the organization billed to its supporters as a discussion of the 2012 elections — which resulted in the legalization of gay marriage in three states and the defeat of a gay-marriage ban in a fourth — and of “what’s next in the fight to defend marriage.”
During the call, NOM’s top leaders said they needed to greatly expand their fundraising efforts. They argued that Mitt Romney should have focused more on the same-sex marriage issue, and they blamed Karl Rove for allegedly pushing Republicans and outside groups to focus solely on economic issues.
NOM also suggested that opponents of same-sex marriage would argue in court that Tuesday’s election results were evidence that gays and lesbians do not constitute a “suspect class” and that the Defense of Marriage Act should therefore not be overturned.
The American Independent obtained an invitation to the conference call and dialed in.
During the call, one participant cited Starbucks, which endorsed gay marriage legalization in Washington, and General Mills, which spoke out against the proposed gay marriage ban in Minnesota. The participant asked what could be done “to stop the wave of corporate sponsorship of gay marriage.”
NOM President Brian Brown responded by saying that NOM was targeting the international business of companies that support same-sex marriage such as Starbucks, which NOM also hit with a national boycott effort this year. Brown said the aim is to make these companies’ political stances known in countries in the Middle East and elsewhere that generally do not support same-sex marriage, or homosexuality in general.
“Their international outreach is where we can have the most effect,” Brown said. “So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this. These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India. So we have done some of this; we’ve got to do a lot more.”
“It takes money to go up against someone like Starbucks,” Brown continued, noting that NOM’s resources had been spread thin. “I mean, we’ve got 50,000 people who’ve said, ‘We’re no longer going to purchase Starbucks products,’ but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Has it had some effect? I think so, but it’s nowhere near enough. An example has to be made of some of these companies if we’re going to get this sort of tidal wave of support for same-sex marriage to stop.”
Listen to the audio:
Earlier this year, NOM announced that it was taking “Dump Starbucks” campaign “international.” In a statement at the time, Brown said that “DumpStarbucks.com online ads will also start running in Egypt, Beijing, Hong Kong, the Yunnan region of China, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.”
“What happens in Seattle won’t to stay in Seattle,” Brown said at the time. “By making gay marriage core to his brand, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz [sic] is telling millions of customers and partners who support traditional marriage in the Middle East, China, South America and North America that they aren’t truly part of the Starbucks community.”
The theme of the call Thursday was that the fight is not over, which is something NOM has been stressing in the media since Tuesday’s election. Both Brown and NOM national political director Frank Schubert waved away the notion that the marriage equality wins signal that Americas now favor same-sex marriage — they said these were simply liberal states where gay marriage advocates drastically outspent gay marriage foes and won by slim margins.
“The most important, you know, reality is that our work has gotten harder, but we are not defeated,” Brown said. “These are, as I said, four difficult states. We will have more fights, we will have more wins, but we’re going to need to be able to match the other side. We’re not going to be able to win in these sort of states being outspent in the way that we were.”
Looking to the future, Brown warned supporters of upcoming marriage fights in Delaware, Illinois, and Rhode Island, and of potential Supreme Court decisions concerning the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, and the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Brown said he believes the marriage equality wins will actually hurt gay-marriage advocates’ arguments in cases involving DOMA “because one of the arguments of the other side is that gays and lesbians are a suspect class, and that means that there’s some level of political powerlessness. That clearly is not the case.”
“I think that on one level, the fact that we lost in these states may actually help us win in the Supreme Court,” Brown said. “Also, for someone like Justice [Anthony] Kennedy — who has said in the past, has not wanted the court to be too far ahead of public opinion — the reality that the majority of states have voted with us, but recently some states have voted to redefine marriage underscores the idea that the federal government doesn’t need to act here, that the states are dealing with this on their own, and the federal government shouldn’t bypass the democratic process right in the middle.”
Schubert repeatedly said that “marriage remains a winning issue” and blamed Mitt Romney’s campaign and the larger GOP campaign for failing to talk enough about same-sex marriage. He suggested that if the whole country had voted on the issue Tuesday, same-sex marriage would have been opposed by “65 percent of the vote.”
He said this assumption was based on the fact that on average “marriage outpaced the GOP tickets” and also based on a national Election Day survey NOM released Friday. That survey, which was conducted by conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway’s Polling Group, found that “60% of Americans who voted in the election favor marriage being the union of one man and one woman.”
By contrast, national exit polls from this year’s election found that 49 percent of polled voters said same-sex marriage should be legal in their states, compared to 46 of polled voters who said it should be illegal.
NOM: Karl Rove’s economic issues strategy was a ‘false bill of goods’
Both Brown and Schubert made it clear that NOM’s immediate goal is to raise more money. They attributed their recent losses to the fact that they were outspent by gay marriage supporters.
“[W]e’re spread thin, and part of the story of this election is, you know, we tried to fight four fights all at once right after putting all our money into North Carolina, and the other side spread us out,” Brown said.
In a press release Wednesday, Brown said that NOM had contributed “over $5.5 million” but that the organization was outspent “by a margin of at least four-to-one.” On Thursday’s call, Schubert said NOM had raised a little more than $10 million and that marriage equality supporters had spent about $33 million.
“We’ve got to attract the support of economic conservatives, who are primarily interested in issues other than marriage, and have them see how it’s important that we operate as a coalition, as our opponents do,” Schubert said. “We’ve got to take their model and apply it to ourselves. We’ve got to do a better job at raising major gifts; we’ve got to do a better job at raising smaller-dollar gifts.”
Brown agreed that the conservatives focused too closely on economic issues during this election. He called out political strategist Karl Rove, whose Crossroads groups were reportedly the largest outside spending organizations of the 2012 election.
“I think that the Republican Party in general was sold a false bill of goods this election, and the notion that we should only talk about economic issues gained the day,” Brown said. “This was really sort of Karl Rove’s strategy. There was hundreds of millions of dollars raised for outside groups, and they wanted everyone to stay on message on jobs. … Clearly it was a mistake, because it didn’t work.”
Listen to the audio:
Brown also said NOM wants to keep attacking, through advertising, conservatives that come out in support of same-sex marriage, like the group did with Republican state senators from New York who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2011.
“If anything comes out of this election, we need to have what Rove had, which is the ability to have a super PAC-like structure, where there is money that is being used as a help, a sort of carrot, and that there are also sticks,” he said.
Brown also said that voter turnout among NOM’s constituency was low.
“The other side … their get-out-the-vote machine — Obama, and the Democratic Party — was just unbelievable for an election of this type,” he said. “And our people did stay at home. There was actually less Evangelical voters in many of these states. … It was an absolute disaster for us.”
‘We are sort of a baby organization’
NOM has long been criticized for portraying itself as a grassroots organization when so much of its major financial support has come from a few wealthy donors and conservative foundations.
But to the group’s supporters, Brown and Schubert talked about the need for more genuine grassroots support.
“We think that we need to look closely at how we organize at the grassroots level.” Schubert said. “We have a lot of superficial support, particularly in the Protestant community, but we’ve had a very difficult time in operationalizing that support into actual grassroots activities, getting people walking precincts, making phone calls, doing the day-to-day hard work of being grassroots allies for us.”
Brown said the organization is now trying to figure out ways to attract more grassroots supporters.
“Just looking at the battlefield, we are not the Human Rights Campaign,” he said. “They’ve got 40 million dollars; they’ve got multiple grassroots directors. We are sort of a baby organization that’s had to grow very quickly, and we are going to be focusing a lot more on the grassroots.”
Those idiots clearly don’t understand the law. Winning a few votes doesn’t mean a group isn’t politically powerless. Women already had far more rights and laws protecting them when they were declared a quasi-suspect class. In any case political power is just one of the prongs of the test.
What’s deeply disturbing is that Brian Brown obviously knows that in some countries in the Middle East, the “price” one might pay for being thought supportive of gay people is one’s life. By being so cavalier about promoting Starbuck’s corporate position in countries where homosexuality itself is a crime punishable by death, NOM and Brown could find themselves with blood on their hands. It’s clear that they hope that Starbucks will back off of their support for LGBT equality and marriage equality and commitment to civil rights rather than put their employees at risk, but it’s actually NOM and Brown that are cruelly and cavalierly willing to risk people’s lives in another country to what… stop marriage equality in the US? They know that’s not going to happen, so they’re just helping create a climate that could lead to murder for nothing other than their own spite, hate and lack of anything remotely understood to be Christian love or charity.
NOM should be reported to the United States Department of State for attempting to incite to violence against LGBTers and against Starbuck’s employees and installations in countries largely hostile to gay people.
Thanks so much for this coverage. Well done!
NOM’s Brian Brown’s absurdity is staggering, where he says that NOM didn’t have any “elites” promoting its gay-bashing politics. Mitt Romney signed the nasty and malicious NOM pledge, and was the Republican Party’s nominee for president. When Romney spoke to the virulently anti-gay-rights community of Liberty University, he said “I share your values.” (Liberty’s founder Jerry Falwell said that the 9/11 attacks occurred because of America’s acceptance of homosexuality, and that the attacks were “probably deserved.”) How much more “elite” a spokesperson for anti-gay hatred could Brian Brown expected to have recruited, than Mitt Romney? The Pope maybe isn’t “elite”? The Pope, too, was on NOM’s side, scapegoating gay people and meddling in US elections. Cardinal Dolan was right there with him, doing it too. A Catholic Church Cardinal is maybe not an elite figure?
Brain Brown outs himself here as a man without a moral fiber in his body.
A sad, absurd, obsessed man.
I actually feel sorry for him. More so for his children, forever forced to be a part of this man’s inevitable legacy.
Great Reporting by Sofia Resnick!!! I can’t think off hand of one other investigative mainstream press journalist who is doing this work. Yes we get *editorials* written by all the major newspapers, but WHO is doing this type of *investigative reporting* on anti gay hate groups in the mainstream press? The only one I know of is Sofia Resnick and the American Independent!!! I sincerely and deeply appreciate and hope her newspaper supports her and her work.
I watched the video of when the Minnesota group got the news that they WON!! What was interesting to me was not so much the moment of Victory but what was said beforehand. In the video the Minnesota Group Leader says that Minnesota For NO, had 27,000 Volunteers. I don’t remember the statistics for Maine but they were enormous also. NOM must be sh*tting their pants because they now realize that they do NOT have the feet ont he ground base that they need to win.
Plus I thought it was interesting that they said that they spend almost all their money in North Carolina, I wonder how much they spent there, I should go look that up.
Scott Lively is getting sued in Federal Court by a group from Uganda. I can’t remember the details but there is some Federal law about Americans going to other countries and making life dangerous for those living in those non US Countries. If NOM isn’t careful they could end up getting sued also.
NOM has no broad based public support, they are funded by a few wealthy CATHOLIC donors.
Four words for Brian Brown and his organization: Go. the fuck. Away.
Are these people trying to “protect marriage” or just be vindictive and nasty? What could this tactic possibly do to further their stated mission? I think they are frustrated because God isn’t judging Starbucks.
perhaps if brian & co. stopped to reflect a moment on why they are “spread thin” they might stop and realize that it’s probably because there are fewer and fewer americans who support their mission of hate & bigotry.
Brian Brown sure talks about money a lot. I wonder what truly motivates him.
Also, isn’t plural marriage a part of the cultures of some of the countries he named?
If he and his group are trying to incite violence against GLBT persons in foreign countries, this would make NOM a hate group, and Brian Brown a terrorist. They should be dealt with as such.
NOM is really front for the Catholic Church. Maybe NOM had a hand in it at the very beginning, but today nearly their whole funding comes from Catholic dioceses, the Knights of Colombus and Opus Dei. All their top people are connected to the Catholic Church and what they preach is pure Catholic doctrine (like saying that gay people care called to celibacy. If they were Mormons they’d simply marry them off)
Ooops. Replied to the wrong person. This was supposed to belong under Charles
This organization NOM was originally formed for the sole purpose of being a diversion front for the Mormon Church. A buffer to prevent the IRS from figuring out the depth of what that “church” actually was doing. Romney quietly signed a contractual agreement with NOM to amend the US Constitution as well. That contract became null and void on November 6, 2012. Now NOM is pissed royally. They are now having the audacity to go to the Mid East and garner support all the while endangering those that work at Starbucks there. So here we have two things. 1) NOM (as the arm of the Mormon Church) wants the US Constitution amended. 2) They’re going to the Middle East to accomplish these things. One plus two equals guess what? Time to apply RICO!
These busybodies could end up getting somebody killed.
All we have to do is spread the word in those countries that NOM is a CHRISTIAN activist group that wants all muslims to convert. No one will ever hear about NOM after that.
crissypoo you are quite the strategist :)
Basically, now that NOM is finding that its message is not so welcome in many parts of the United States, they are looking to export their brand to the Islamic world. If you want to live in a deeply religious country where homosexuality and abortion are illegal, you will be very happy in Iran. It turns out that the Sharia law threat is not coming from Muslims in the United States, but, instead, from Christian wingnuts at orgainzations like NOM.
If 1 person, or 1 Starbucks in another Anti-gay country is killed/bombed etc..Brian Brown should be Held personally responsible..period!
The people at NOM, the National Association of I don’t know what kind of Marriage, are idiots. They seem to think that threatening us by refusing to support our favourite business, they think that they’ll shut down businesses that support same-sex marriage and other social organisations. I don’t believe that will happen. Even if organisations like NOM do refuse to support Starbucks, Tullys, and other businesses, there are always other people willing to support businesses.
What amazes me is how close to the truth this guy gets without actually understanding what’s going on. He talks about misplaced focus in the campaign and Rove, et al, but he just doesn’t understand. The rich, white, old guys simply don’t care one single bit about these religious lunatics and their social agendas. They just don’t matter to the power structure of the Republican party. The party just uses them to gain votes, but it’s ALL about the money. Being allowed to pillage, plunder, and pollute with impunity is all that matters to the Republican power structure.
“Brown said he believes the marriage equality wins will actually hurt gay-marriage advocates’ arguments in cases involving DOMA “because one of the arguments of the other side is that gays and lesbians are a suspect class, and that means that there’s some level of political powerlessness. That clearly is not the case.””
Doesn’t matter. DOMA, (or any other laws restricting SSM) will fall based on the 14th Amendment if a case comes before the SCOTUS. No other grounds are needed when the Constitution is being violated.
I think their problem was that they (NOM, FOTF, FRC & the Catholic Church talked far too much about these issues. They displayed their anger and their hate. They made their bigotry the mainstay of their campaigns and the American people simply recognized the fact that these people were no longer talking for them. Personally, I hope these groups continue to display their despicable attitudes so that more and more of the world can see them for they truly are: bigoted people whose hatred is grounded in unreasonable fear.
Brown’s argument that the elections prove LGBT people don’t constitute a suspect class because it shows a lack of political powerlessness is just plain laughable. By that logic, African Americans are no longer a suspect class because we have a two-term black president (arguably the least politically powerless position in the world).
The courts have consistently upheld that racial minorities, including blacks, remain a legitimate suspect class in spite of political accomplishments. LGBT have far fewer accomplishments in comparison.
I also find it disturbing that NOM has decided to seek support from authoritarian regimes in the middle east. Why not just go all the way and ask the Taliban for some funding? I’m sure they’d be delighted to help.
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By signing same-sex marriage into law, the Bible-loving Washington State Governor is helping to fulfill the predicted “days of Lot” (Luke 17) – days Jesus said would precede and hurry up His return as Judge – and she is thus making the Bible even more believable! After swelling up with pride, Mt. Rainier will be having a blast that Seaddlepated folks can share in lava-land!
some really mean and hfurutl things to my girlfriend. I even accused her of cheating and told her I wanted to get a DNA test on the baby. My girl is not the kind to cheat either, she is a great and good girl. Very responsible, serious, respectful, beautiful, the perfect package. Anyways we had a long talk about why I didn’t trust her. I really did trust her, its just that I was mad about other stuff and for some reason I don’t know how to express how I am feeling so I just get mad about other stuff. I took my anger out on her. I know how wrong and despicable I am because I needed to be more considerate of her because she is pregnant and very sensitive at this time. Treating her this way can be very dangerous.Anyways on the day after, she told me about how she cried all night and the she didn’t want to be with me anymore. I begged her to take me back like a pathetic fool and she kept saying no. I told her to tell me that she doesn’t love me anymore and I would leave her alone and she said no because she still does love me and she can’t tell me a lie about how she feels. She said that she would take me back if we kept our relationship a secret and I said no because that made me feel like she was ashamed of me. She then told me that she needed time. I called her that night and she told the same things. Anyways I sent her a week of teddy bears with roses and very nice chocolates and apologetic love letters. On about the third day she got online and I talked to her and she said that everything was very nice and that she liked but she can’t take me back because she would feel like a dumbass and that her family would talk sh*t about her because they found out about the situation. I kept begging her and she kept saying no and she said she is never going to forgive and never going to take me back. I told her that I had changed for real and that my eyes were open and things would be different but she won’t beleive me because I have made this promise before. I kept pleading with her and she told me that I was driving her nuts, that she made her myspace again (she deleted it before because we would get mad about each others myspace, this will have significance later)to leave her alone, and to never speak to her again.On the fifth and final day of gifts, which was a plush sad sam puppy stuffed animal with roses and a sad note, I told her brother (who has been helping me out the whole time) to tell his sister to get online so I could tell her something important and real short and that it would not make her mad. She got on and I told her that I agreed with her decision to end our relationship. She asked me why and I told her that I understood that this is what she wanted and I have to respect that. I apologized to her for bothering her and acting so crazy after the break up. I told her that I didn’t wanted to be friends with her and that to not worry about the kid that I am going to support it no matter what and that if she ever needed help with anything that I would have her back no matter what. She said thank you that is what I want. She said that she doesn’t know if we going to be in the future together and I was like ok that’s cool not really showing interest and I told her goodbye and take care and signed off right away. After I signed off she said goodbye take care like two minutes after I signed off, meaning I think she kept looking at the screen thinking about it. Anyways, I prayed to God after that and i asked him to help me out with this problem with my girl.The strangest thing happened later that night. She called me really late at night and when my mom gave me the phone I said hey how are you? she said good and I said good and immediately she said Jayson I love you I still love you alot. I couldn’t hold my feelings for her and I told her that I love her too. She thanked me for all the gifts she had been recieving and said she really loved the sad sam puppy that she received. I couldn’t hold back and told her that I still wanted to be with her and that I wanted to have a family with her. I told her I wanted to take care of her and our child. I apologized and I said that I really am cI apologized and I said that I really am changed and that if she gave me another chance that I could make her happy. She told me she wants to be with me and that she doesn’t want anyone else. I kept apologizing and I told her that what really hurt me the most was not that she left but that I hurt her and that the one thing in the world that makes me feel good is when I know that she is smiling and feeling good because of something that I did to or for her. I told her that it wasn’t that I needed her but that I wanted her. We talked for like an hour and I know this is a mistake but I love her and she has my child I can’t play these break up games with this girl because the stakes are so much higher. Well we talked on the phone for like an hour and we just kept telling each other about how wemiss each other and love each other and want to be with each other and telling each other about what has been happening in our lives this week. I asked her if her myspace said she was single and she said no that she didn’t want to change it. That the only reason why she put it back up was to check for messages from friends and family. She asked me why I deleted mine and I told her that I did so because it was distracting me from doing what I need to be doing and from my training by the way I forgot to mention that I am going to marines bootcamp in like three weeks. She said that she would really think about getting back with me this time and that she was really considering it, but she doesn’t want what has already happened to happen again. She just doesn’t want to get hurt again. I am really hoping we get back together.Do you think that we are going to get back together? What should I do in the meantime? Do I call her and leave her messages telling her how much I love her or do I leave her alone and give her time to think and some space? Did I give in too easy when she called me? I’m so confused right now and I’m scared of losing her. Please, any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ladies.