Monday, April 11, 2011

Congressman Trent Franks and his anti-gay hate group friend

This picture was taken during one of those dreary right-wing " How To Take Back America" conference in 2009.

The man in the picture to the left is Brian Camenker of the SPLC - declared hate group Mass Resistance. Amongst so many other anti-gay exploits, Camenker and Mass Resistance has:

made a claim in 2006 that "gays were trying to get legislation passed to allow sex with animals" in Massachusetts,

Manufactured a phony panic about "schools teaching children about homosexuality,"

Claimed in 2005 on Comedy Central's Daily Show that if given time, Camenker would be able to connect gay marriage in Massachusetts to the "reduction" of the quality of life in the state, a spike in homelessness rates, or and a lowering the quality of the air in the state

Also, according to Media Matters, Mass Resistance also

 . . .  previously called on parents to keep their children home from school during an event promoting awareness of, and opposition to, anti-gay bullying and has stated that suicide prevention programs for gay and lesbian youth have no "legitimate medical or psychological basis." The organization was also a major source behind the right-wing's false attacks on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings back in 2009.

Camenker, the group's longtime leader, has viciously attacked gays in the past. In 2007, he reportedly denied that gays and lesbians were targets of the Holocaust and has compared his supporters to the Allies and the gay rights movement to Nazis. In 2008, Camenker wrote that [s]ame-sex marriage "hangs over society like a hammer with the force of law."

Now why is all of this important? The man to the right in the picture is Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) On April 15th, Franks will be holding a hearing before the House Judiciary subcommittee. The title of the hearing is "Defending Marriage."

Now I'm certainly not saying that Camenker will be a witness at the hearing, but based on the fact that they seem to attend the same conferences - and are cordial enough to take pictures together - I think it's safe to say that this upcoming hearing won't necessarily be lgbt-friendly.

According to the Washington Blade:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), chair of the committee, has said President Obama could be impeached for his decision to drop his administration’s defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in court, and the upcoming hearing would likely represent his views.

In a March interview with Think Progress, Franks said he supports defunding the Justice Department if it doesn’t defend DOMA and added he would “absolutely” favor impeaching Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder if support for doing so “could gain collective support.”

Oh what "fun" this hearing is going to be!

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More homophobia than you can shake a stick at and other Monday midday news briefs

Video: The whiteboard is empty; still more instructive than the 'expert' discussion - Religious right groups have a nauseating conference. Don't read if you have a weak stomach.

NOM Spokesman: Marriage Equality Will Ban Preaching
- And here I thought hate crimes legislation would do all of that.

Watch: School Takes Field Trip to the Castro District, Parent Freaks About Gay Sex, Calls Local News - One ignorant parent amongst many good ones freak out. And suddenly its a news story. Come on now!

Bill recognizing domestic partnerships signed - Good for Washington state!

Bachmann And Gingrich Will Address Anti-Gay Organization That’s "Proud To Be A Hate Group" - Be still my intestines.

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The National Organization for Marriage owes me an apology for lying about Marinelli

 Editor's note - this post originally inaccurately accused Marinelli of making the offending comment regarding how "gays were never hunted down and murdered like Jews, Blacks, or Christians." It was another administrator who made this offensive comment. However, this doesn't take away from the gist of the story, i.e. NOM falsely claiming that the facebook page was "operated by a private party" which was independent of the organization.

By now, we have all heard the uplifting story of Louis J. Marinelli, the former National Organization for Marriage strategist who defected from the group and now supports marriage equality.

It's a story which demonstrates that actually getting to know lgbts can change one's mind about who we are as a people.

There is also another story involved which demonstrates the duplicity of the NOM, the organization which Marinelli was once affiliated with.

Jeremy Hooper from Goodasyou covered this story but since I am principally involved, I feel the need to comment on it.

When the story of Marinelli's defection broke, Brian Brown, president of NOM, issued this statement:

"Louis worked in a volunteer capacity as a bus driver during our summer marriage tour. Around this time, he started pushing Facebook supporters towards NOM and we paid him as a part-time consultant for helping us expand our internet reach.”

Now during that abysmal Summer Marriage Tour, I wrote a piece in the Huffington Post commenting on an unbelievable comment on NOM's Facebook page (which was run by Marinelli) - National Organization for Marriage: Gays Were Never Hunted Down and Murdered Like 'Jews, Christians, and Blacks'

NOM got furious at my article and sent the following missive (I highlighted the crucial parts):

"The Huffington Post on Wednesday falsely attributed statements to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) about discrimination faced by gays and lesbians. The statements were apparently posted by an unnamed "administrator" of the "Protect Marriage: 1 Man 1 Woman" Facebook account. Huffington Post falsely claims that this is NOM's Facebook page. The Facebook account on which these statements were reportedly made is not NOM's Facebook page and neither NOM nor anyone representing NOM made these statements. The Facebook account in question is operated by a private party and NOM does not control what is allowed to be posted on the account, a fact that could have been easily known to Huffington Post had they reached out to NOM to verify the report

Now at the time, which the help of the webpages Goodasyou and Box Turtle Bulletin, I was able to point out the duplicity of  NOM's  statement:

As this link courtesy of Box Turtle Bulletin and Goodasyou proves, the page "Protect Marriage: 1 Man 1 Woman" is associated with NOM. From its Twitter page, NOM is pushing the page as its own. Furthermore,  Louis J. Marinelli - self identified "NOM strategist" is the general manager of the page.

 But now I guess my proof is unnecessary. That "private party" operating NOM's facebook page was Marinelli, who the organization has just admitted to have paid as a "part-time consultant for helping them expand their internet reach."

NOM clearly owes me an apology for calling into question my journalistic integrity. The organization obviously wasn't telling the truth when it tried to disavow itself from Marinelli back then.

It's okay though. My guess is that right now, NOM is too busy eating and digesting all that crow to make a suitable apology to me.

Related post:

Of course NOM's misrepping Louis' role. It's the one constant of the Brown/Marinelli marriage - Jeremy Hooper goes into more detail regarding Marinelli's Facebook page and NOM.

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