Sometimes Ya Just Got to Yell

Some people have given me flack on my NOM logo redesign.  They say it’s unfair because the original sign, the one with the his-and-his nooses, did not come from the NOM leadership.

They have a point.

But that doesn’t mean they’re right.

I have to admit, that graphic was not my most intellectual effort.  When I saw the original sign, my clock got punched and it felt like the only thing to do was yell.  But you know what?  I held back.  Before anything else that morning, I checked NOM’s reaction to the sign.  I checked NOMblog.  I checked NOM’s Facebook page.  I checked NOM’s Summer Tour Facebook page.

I saw nothing.

I’ve written before about how hard, how satisfying, and how hard it is to do write about these people (and yes, it is satisfying).  But you can only crawl through so much hateful crap, you can only address so much of it in a logical and factual and analytical way, before you’ve got to yell.   And when I saw that sign, I had to yell.

Now that I’ve calmed down (it’s sad how learn to quickly I get over that stuff:  Oh, just another fanatic who wants us dead.  Tell him to get in line.) I have to ask whether I’ve been fair to NOM.  Can I hold NOM responsible for every nutjob who shows up in public with a sign?  No, of course not.  Rather, if I’m going to eviscerate NOM, I have to do it based on NOM’s choices.  Ultimately, though, that’s not hard to do.

I know what it’s like to throw a rally.  My first action as an activist was to organize a peaceful candlelight vigil/food drive in December 2008 to honor our lost marriage rights.  It wasn’t easy to do this one month after the Prop 8 vote and a lot of people hassled me for not being more confrontational.  I even saw a commenter on Queerty threaten to hijack the protest and make it more in-your-face.  I saw that he was a friend of a friend on Facebook, arranged to meet, and talked him down.  Hell, I convinced him to talk others down.  At our vigil (headquartered at a Christian church, by the way), we provided a storage area for confrontational signs.  We gave each group a briefing on the peaceful goals of the protest before sending them onto the streets, and we had reps on all the sidewalks to keep the messaging clear.

We did this with 500 protesters, 10 – 20 times the crowd NOM has drawn.  And we got the positive news coverage to prove it (even from the local FOX affiliate!).

That gives me a foundation for critiquing how NOM dealt with Larry Adams at this rally.  Here are the choices NOM should have made:

  • When the sign appeared, a NOM rep should have gone to Adams and explained the peaceful, non-hating philosophy that NOM claims to spread.
  • If Adams refused to put the sign away, they should have done the same thing with him that they do with other people they disagree with: send him from the immediate area.
  • When Adams’ sign hit the news, they should have disavowed him as a supporter and explained why they didn’t ask him to pull back from inciting violence against gays.

Here’s my take on what NOM actually chose:

  • Several people from NOM warned Adams to be careful in what he said to video cameras on our side, or not to talk to us at all.  Yet none of them asked Adams to put away his gay lynching sign.
  • Even though NOM has consistently been willing to exile those they disagree with from their rallies — to point of involving the police — NOM chose not to exile Adams.
  • Brian Brown and his fellow NOMmers have repeatedly praised the behavior of their supporters and condemned pro-equality protestors as hateful and intolerant.  It’s NOM who’s pushing the notion that people’s actions at these rallies reveal the character of the side they support.  But NOM has had nothing to say about Larry Adams.
  • Finally, this wasn’t NOM’s first chance to address Adams’ favorite passage from Leviticus.  When a beauty contestant said gays “shall surely be put to death,” Maggie Gallagher’s only public reaction was to praise her for standing up against hate.  Yeah, you read that right.

These are all NOM’s choices.  They’re ugly choices.  Brought to you by your friends at NOM.

Sometimes ya just got to yell.

UPDATE: If I had any misgivings left about this graphic, NOM’s contradictory and dishonest response has dispensed with them.

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27 comments to Sometimes Ya Just Got to Yell

  • 1
    CD Demetrious says:

    Rob,

    I think it’s a shame that those on our side would compel you to have to explain/justify your actions.

    Why must we be “fair” when our opponents endeavor to deny us that which mankind treasures most? Family.

    And if we are prevented from stably establishing that which gives man vital breath, then what else might the world provide to sustain us?

    If man’s spirit suffocates, then isn’t he deceased?

    Oh how we demonstrate our adversaries’ most outstanding achievement in inferiority instruction.

  • 2
    SMC says:

    As you point out above, the Bible says that two men who lie together shall be put to death. Please tell me how the double noose logo is an exaggeration.

  • 3
    LarryG says:

    I am tired of this “good little faggot” act. You know we try to be nice to these people. Argue with them on their own terms, try to be better than they are, and we STILL wind up LOSING! I think it is time for some good old civil disobedience. They can’t throw us ALL in jail.

  • 4
    Neil says:

    I strongly agree with Mrs Preece that this artwork and that of the original sign is highly inappropriate. It is unchristian and heretical to suggest that gays should be hanged as part of some total solution to the gay marriage question.

    The correct image should be a pile of bloodied corpses buried under the weight innumerable rocks. I sincerely hope that gay haters and those who mock the same learn to adjust their imagery in line with scriptural orthodoxy. Amen.

  • 5
    BradP says:

    LOL@Neil. I was thinking the same thing; people didn’t get themselves hanged back then. Stoned or burned or exiled.

    Alas, though, I did read commentary today observing that since the anti-NOM people significantly outnumber the NOM NOM NOMs, they can now paint their tour as the “get shouted down” tour, and themselves as the victims. But then, they think they’re the victims anyway–we are imposing our values on THEM, we’re oppressing their christian beliefs. UGH.

  • 6
    Will J says:

    Turn a hose on them and they’ll melt.

  • 7

    At our vigil (headquartered at a Christian church, by the way), we provided a storage area for confrontational signs. We gave each group a briefing on the peaceful goals of the protest before sending them onto the streets, and we had reps on all the sidewalks to keep the messaging clear.

    Maybe NOM doesn’t feel they need to lie to the cameras the way the gay and lesbian community does.

    Argue with them on their own terms, try to be better than they are, and we STILL wind up LOSING!

    But you’re not. Rob Tisinai admitted that gays and lesbians are hiding and trying to spin their true attitudes and beliefs to be more PR-worthy.

    People are not stupid. They know the gay and lesbian community is lying to them. They know that these “rallies” that Rob and his ilk are putting on are staged PR events in which spin is being sold.

    I mean, seriously. Do you really think people are so dumb as to not notice the obvious? They know that gay and lesbian people support and endorse FMA supporters from the “correct” political party. They know that gay and lesbian people have no problem with “hate speech” when it comes from the base of the “correct” political party. They know that the Proposition 8 protests only happened in front of places that the gay and lesbian community thought were predominantly white and Republican.

    What this whole post boils down to is Rob Tisinai needing to rationalize a standard that he adamantly refuses to apply to his own community and movement. I have a list a mile long of gays and lesbians and signs that Rob Tisinai would need to condemn to live up to his own requirements, and he just frankly doesn’t want to do it.

  • 8
    Greg says:

    Wait. In Dallas-world, staying civil is bad?

    Sorry, that just makes my head all splodey.

  • 9
    Christopher says:

    Rob Tisinai admitted that gays and lesbians are hiding and trying to spin their true attitudes and beliefs to be more PR-worthy.

    Really? You claim this, but provide nothing to back it up, possibly because you have no evidence. Please cite some examples of this “hiding” and “spinning”.

    As for all the signs you think Rob Tisinai should be condemning, you’re missing the point, ND30. The sign was being held up at a NOM rally. NOM members and supporters had an opportunity to condemn the message at that time but chose not to. Instead a NOM member asked the sign-holder not to say anything “inflammatory” to the press–because apparently NOM and its supporters didn’t consider the sign inflammatory.

    If you’d actually read the post above you’d realize that Rob wasn’t interested in “hiding” anything, his focus was merely on peaceful protests, on taking a non-aggressive stance to counter people who, for instance, say that the death penalty is a “solution” to same-sex marriage.

    To everyone else: I apologize for feeding the troll. I realize that ND30 isn’t interested in intelligent discussion, but sometimes you just gotta yell.

  • 10
    Ben in Oakland says:

    Don’t feed the troll(s).

  • 11
    DN says:

    When this story broke, I sent the bilerico link to my boyfriend, whose aunt and uncle are NOM supporters. I explained that NOM’s complacency regarding this sign is why I don’t want to be around them.

    This Thanksgiving, I plan on bringing it up with his aunt & uncle (in a civil, polite manner) and seeing what they think. Sometimes you just gotta yell.

  • 12
    Ben in Oakland says:

    DN- these are the conversaitons that need to be had. I wish more people would have them.

  • 13
    Lee says:

    CD Demetrious said, “I think it’s a shame that those on our side would compel you to have to explain/justify your actions.”

    I disagree. The facts that we question our own morality and actions as well as the morality and actions of others around us shows that we aren’t just a bunch of mindless sheep with an agenda. When we question ourselves, we prove that we have a reason -and a good one at that- for doing what we do as a community and as a movement.

  • 14
    Lee says:

    North Dallas Thirty said, “I mean, seriously. Do you really think people are so dumb as to not notice the obvious?”

    Uh, yeah. That’s what the anti-gay rights movement and NOM [i]rely[/i] on. In fact, that’s what the world runs on: people’s stupidity. If everyone had an IQ of 120 or more, the world would be a completely different place. People would be able to make good decisions and they would be able to see the future consequences in things. They wouldn’t do things like drink and drive, and they wouldn’t vote for presidents like George dubya Bush- [i]twice[/i].

  • 15

    Please cite some examples of this “hiding” and “spinning”.

    Gladly.

    At our vigil (headquartered at a Christian church, by the way), we provided a storage area for confrontational signs.

    Which means they hid them and prevented them from going out onto the street.

    We gave each group a briefing on the peaceful goals of the protest before sending them onto the streets, and we had reps on all the sidewalks to keep the messaging clear.

    Which means they ordered people to stick to the talking points and prevented them from talking to the media uncensored – or, put differently, they spun the message.

    Wait. In Dallas-world, staying civil is bad?

    I have no problem with being civil. But clearly, as we see from Rob’s example, gay and lesbian people are not, and Rob and his ilk are deliberately trying to hide and smother the fact.

    People realize that, and they realize how Rob and his ilk behave when the cameras are off. That’s to what they’re reacting.

    As for all the signs you think Rob Tisinai should be condemning, you’re missing the point, ND30. The sign was being held up at a NOM rally.

    Oh, I know the point. You’re saying that Rob shouldn’t be held to the same artificial standards to which he holds others.

    And what’s also funny is how Rob hasn’t mentioned this bit of information — which it’s obvious he knows about, since he commented on the post in question.

    The group “Freedom to Marry” issued their own statement yesterday, but they apparently forgot to coordinate their message of the day with HRC. Instead of accusing us of “made up stories of harassment” this group showed a repulsive picture of someone whose sign featured a noose, implying that homosexuals should be put to death. They went on to “demand” that NOM repudiate this “incitement to violence.” We’d treat this call seriously if it weren’t such a contrived stunt.

    First of all, NOM has already repudiated this display of intolerance — and did so on the spot (not through a press release). We demanded this individual to take down his sign, because it was inconsistent with NOM’s aims, methods, and message: We come together in love to support marriage as one man and one woman.

  • 16
    Neil says:

    Dear North Dallas Thirty,

    I’ve been led to believe that you are a gay man. Is this true? I’m curious to verify this because if you are gay, it appears that fact offers no just cause or impediment why you should not put the very worst possible construction on the words and actions of LGBT proponents. You are capable of independent thought. Your psychic defenses have withstood the influence of the LGBT hive mind.

    So if you are gay and capable of such exceptional opinions, would it not be reasonable to suspect that others with a homosexual orientation might also be equipped with the mental capacity to form their own views?

    For example, some queer folk might be partial to visiting upon NOM rallies a posse of suicide bombers and others might feel a silent protest more appropriate. If within this range of strategic options the most explosive one is chosen, I’m not sure it would be fair to say the bombers were deceiving the public over their preferred method of protest being a peaceful vigil. It seems to me to be altogether more accurate to conclude that the bombers happened to make the more persuasive case on the day.

    In the example you cite, the more confrontational signs of those contending the NOM rally were put away. It sounds like a means justifying the ends strategy won out.

    As for what goes on without cameras, we must rely on eye witness accounts. Not that any one person’s account should be summarily discounted, but I do wonder if this Brian Brown you quote is impartial and honest enough for me to establish an objective understanding of events.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Neil.

  • 17

    I’ve been led to believe that you are a gay man. Is this true?

    Yes.

    So if you are gay and capable of such exceptional opinions, would it not be reasonable to suspect that others with a homosexual orientation might also be equipped with the mental capacity to form their own views?

    Reasonable, yes. But that fails to take into account the sort of things that are stated by the gay and lesbian community and endorsed by its organizations, such as Truth Wins Out, about gays and lesbians who form their own views.

    Permit me to stop joking around for a moment and to say something directly for a change. Dan Blatt is a loathsome piece of shit who will sell out other gay people in order to curry the favor of straight Republicans who pat him on the head every now but then call him a cock-sucking heels-in-the-air fudge-packed girlie-boy behind his back (even though only the girlie-boy part is actually true). Dan says all this stuff because the probability that any gay man would ever give enough of a shit about Dan to visit him in a hospital, much less to have a relationship with him, is remote — as remote as the possibility that Dan will ever have sex with anyone other than a blind leper in a darkened truck stop in rural Alabama, and even then the leper will have to down a fifth of Jack Daniel’s before he can bring himself to do it. Fuck you, Dan, you wretched, illiterate prick.

    Or, especially ironic given Rob Tisinai’s last whine about children, when the first comment out of their mouths is to hope your baby dies of crib death.

    NOM and other organizations are not unaware of this fact, or what it says about who really is in charge in the gay community. So they have taken the initiative and simply set up situations in which the “suicide bombers” that run the gay and lesbian community can take their shots, knowing that those gays and lesbians who have more sense are not going to open their mouths lest they become targets as well.

    And that sort of wraps up the point. The “hive mind” is not the result of something inherent to sexual orientation; it’s simply the logical resolution of the fact that opposing viewpoints are viciously and loudly suppressed and that that fact is publicized. The Nazis and the Soviets used public trials and executions for the same reason: it’s not a matter of whether or not your opinion is actually shared by the majority, but if you can make it clear that dissent carries a much higher price than acquiescence.

  • 18
    Christopher says:

    ND30, regarding the “hiding” of “confrontational” signs, when people are angry sometimes say things they regret later. This does not mean they are violent, confrontational people. In spite of your efforts to make that stick it’s just not working. You’re the one who’s being dishonest here.

    Rob shouldn’t be held to the same artificial standards to which he holds others.

    First, there was nothing “artificial” about the standard here. Representatives of NOM could have repudiated the sign’s message at the time, but chose not to. You’ve criticized Rob for not repudiating messages at events where he wasn’t even present. That’s the artificial standard. Or do you honestly expect him to go back in time and attend rallies or other events that he didn’t so he can repudiate statements he disagrees with?

    I think you’re trying to distract people from the simple fact that someone held up a sign advocating the death penalty for homosexuals and NOM members who were present said nothing about it.

  • 19

    I think you’re trying to distract people from the simple fact that someone held up a sign advocating the death penalty for homosexuals and NOM members who were present said nothing about it.

    Actually, even Rob admits above they said something about it. But of course, in order to rationalize Rob’s irrational actions, the goalposts moved, and now they didn’t say enough about it.

    I am going to have fun applying this rule. I can now say that every single sign held up at a gay and lesbian protest reflects the entire gay and lesbian community unless that person is immediately confronted, removed from the premises, and condemned specifically later when it hits the news. And, since Rob is now demanding blog, Facebook, and website denunciations as well, even if the people weren’t present, he is now personally responsible for signs that he doesn’t denounce.

    ND30, regarding the “hiding” of “confrontational” signs, when people are angry sometimes say things they regret later. This does not mean they are violent, confrontational people.

    Say things, yes. But if you are stupid and uncontrolled enough to not only say it, but make a sign stating it AND go to a rally to push it, that really does make it pretty obvious that you are violent and confrontational.

    After all, isn’t that what you’re saying about the guy with a noose sign?

  • 20
    Neil says:

    I can now say that every single sign held up at a gay and lesbian protest reflects the entire gay and lesbian community unless that person is immediately confronted, removed from the premises, and condemned specifically later when it hits the news.

    So, business as usual for you.

    In fact, that would be a refinement of your practice up till now of condemning all non-heterosexual people (yourself excepted, of course) for the comments made by any non-heterosexual, whether in protest or any other circumstance.

    Pro NOM participants at a NOM rally can be said to reflect on NOM because NOM is a political organisation and they show up to support it.

    The tactics of the protesters can be said to reflect on the organisers of that protest. It is a complete non sequitur to suggest the entire gay and lesbian community can be held to account.

  • 21
    Christopher says:

    But if you are stupid and uncontrolled enough to not only say it, but make a sign stating it AND go to a rally to push it, that really does make it pretty obvious that you are violent and confrontational.

    Again, ND30, you’re extrapolating wildly. Where is your evidence that anyone at the Prop 8 vigil that Rob describes was “violent and confrontational”? He says that he talked to one person who wanted to make the vigil “more in-your-face”, and he says the storage area was for “confrontational signs”. He says nothing about violence. Admittedly I can see why you’d spin “in-your-face” and “confrontational” into “violent”, since it fits your perspective, but you haven’t got any evidence to back up your spin.

    I can now say that every single sign held up at a gay and lesbian protest reflects the entire gay and lesbian community unless that person is immediately confronted, removed from the premises, and condemned specifically later when it hits the news.

    And how, exactly, is this different from what you’ve been doing all along? The bigger question, though, is will you apply the same rule to NOM and its supporters? Probably not. As much as you try to project this attitude onto others you’re the one who’s selective about how you apply responsibility.

  • 22

    So, business as usual for you.

    And how, exactly, is this different from what you’ve been doing all along?

    And, as I recall, you were previously complaining about how such alleged tactics were “unfair”.

    Well, then. Why the sudden change of heart?

    The bigger question, though, is will you apply the same rule to NOM and its supporters? Probably not. As much as you try to project this attitude onto others you’re the one who’s selective about how you apply responsibility.

    I have no problem if that rule is going to apply equally to both sides.

    But as we see, it doesn’t. You want to condemn everyone who opposes gay marriage as wanting to lynch gays based on their not immediately destroying, tearing down, and publicly repudiating this particular sign, but you don’t want to be held accountable by the same rules.

    And what really makes it funny is that you’re trying to paint people who oppose gay marriage as being violent murderers based on this one sign, but you yourself are insisting that signs don’t necessarily indicate violence.

    Again, the more you look at the gay and lesbian community, the more you realize how infantile and childish it is and how dependent on quotas and minority double standards it has to be to survive. I mean, all you hear about is gays whining “tolerance” and how bad “hate speech” is, but as we see above, the gay and lesbian community supports and endorses this sort of rhetoric against anyone who disagrees with the established gay line, even wishing death on children.

  • 23
    Christopher says:

    You want to condemn everyone who opposes gay marriage as wanting to lynch gays based on their not immediately destroying, tearing down, and publicly repudiating this particular sign, but you don’t want to be held accountable by the same rules.

    Assuming you’re talking directly to me, ND30, please point to a comment where I’ve said that everyone who opposes gay marriage wants to lynch gays. I’ve never said any such thing. I do think it’s fair to criticize NOM members for their failure to repudiate a sign that called for the death penalty for homosexuality.

    You, on the other hand, think it’s fair to criticize signs you haven’t seen as being “violent”, because assuming the worst is the only way you can even begin to make your case stick.

    I have no problem if that rule is going to apply equally to both sides.

    Good for you. Does this mean you’re now going to criticize a sign that called for homosexuals to be put to death?

  • 24

    Good for you. Does this mean you’re now going to criticize a sign that called for homosexuals to be put to death?

    Absolutely. I’m more than happy to point out to this guy that Jesus, who I’m sure he would admit kept all the Mosaic Law perfectly, would not allow the killing of an adulterer, something explicitly spelled out in exactly the same fashion in the Mosaic Law (John 8) — and indeed, confronts the Pharisees directly that the point of the Law is not to destroy life, but to preserve it (Luke 6). I’d also point him to Galatians 3, where Paul makes it clear that Christians are justified by faith, not by the Law, for the very simple reason that it is impossible for any of us to keep the Law perfectly. Indeed, Paul is emphatic that those who put the Law before Christ, like this guy is doing with his sign, are cursed before God.

    So in short, not only is his sign unpleasant and crude, it’s actually ANTI-Christian and emphatically unbiblical. He would be much better off to focus on how the Bible talks about the importance of marriage, of family, of fidelity, of commitment, and of its place as a mirror of the relationship between Christ and the church, all of which is infinitely more positive. His sign speaks only of death and condemnation — which, at its heart, is what Christianity is all about avoiding.

    Now, who do you think is going to get more people in the crowd to pay attention? Me and that reasoning, or you running around screaming that everyone there is a bigot who wants to lynch gays?

  • 25
    Neil says:

    Now, who do you think is going to get more people in the crowd to pay attention? Me and that reasoning, or you running around screaming that everyone there is a bigot who wants to lynch gays?

    What? No option in between?

  • 26

    […] expected some controversy, and when my head settled I offered a more considered evaluation of the situation (though NOM’s own dishonest disavowal of the original sign eased my concern […]

  • 27

    […] expected some controversy, and when my head settled I offered a more considered analysis of the situation (though NOM’s later dishonesty relieved my fear that I’d treated […]

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