Here we go, get your battle gear on. The National Organization for Marriage has officially declared war on LGBTs in North Carolina. Brian Brown has his hat in hand. Here’s the latest e-blast from the professional anti-gay organization. Why? I’ll explain after you take a look at this garbage.
The timing of this is quite purposeful. Tami Fitzgerald, Chair of VoteFORMarriageNC.com, a main proponent of Amendment One, is taking part in a statewide “Values Bus Tour” sponsored hosted by the Heritage Foundation and, lookee here, Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council starting Saturday, March 3rd until Wednesday, March 8.
Perkins, who once purchased the mailing list of former KKK leader David Duke in order to solicit funds, is officially on board as a special guest of Fitzgerald and the Heritage Foundation at the Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference this weekend. The first stop is today and tomorrow in the state capital of Raleigh at a Koch Brothers-affiliated conference that is put on by NC magnate Art Pope‘s anti-gay political network. I’ve blogged about that on the Blend (Koch Brothers’ pal Art Pope: his big bucks are key to NC marriage amendment effort). Koch orgs pumped at least $758,500 into the state’s 2010 legislative contests that resulted in the Republican turnover that allowed the bill to pass placing Amendment One on the ballot.
Pope declares himself a libertarian and founded the NC Libertarian Party back in 1976. I blogged a while back on this topic (“What passes for a professional libertarian viewpoint in my state“), and “libertarian” in North Carolina has been bastardized with bigotry, thanks to the Pope machine. The Pope Foundation has pumped money into two organizations focused on the Amendment debate — Christian Leadership Ministries, an offshoot of Campus Crusade for Christ, and, lo and behold, the Family Research Council. You can learn more about the Pope empire in the excellent report by the Durham, NC-based Institute for Southern Studies at its project Art Pope Exposed.
Here’s the North Carolina lies/disinformation/general pollution schedule for Tami’s Tour of Bigotry:
Bus stop #1: Civitas Conservative Leadership Conference, called Battleground North Carolina (#CLCNC12). Here is the speakers list.
When: Friday – Saturday, March 2-3 (bus arrives Saturday)
Where: The Marriott-Crabtree; Raleigh, NC
Why: Get materials from the Vote FOR Marriage NC booth and hear from Jordan Lawrence of the Alliance Defense Fund on Friday at 4:15 p.m. to learn more about the Marriage Protection Amendment.
Bus stop #2: First Baptist Church-Charlotte
When: Sunday, March 4: 10:30 a.m.
Where: 301 South Davidson Street; Charlotte, NC 28202
Why: Get materials from the Vote FOR Marriage NC booth and hear from Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council
Bus stop #3: Rally at Hanes Mall (by the Golden Corral)
When: Monday, March 5: 12 noon – 1:30 a.m.
Where: 3320 Silas Creek Pkwy #264; Winston Salem, NC 27103
Why: Hear from Vote FOR Marriage NC guests, register to vote, and learn more about the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council
Bus stop #4: Foothills Conservative PAC
When: Tuesday, March 6: 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Log Cabin, 1 Harmon Field Rd.; Tryon, NC 28782
Why: Get information about Vote FOR Marriage NC and learn more about the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council
Bus stop #5: First Baptist Church-Indian Trail
When: Wednesday, March 7: 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Where: 732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road; Indian Trail, NC
Why: Get information about Vote FOR Marriage NC, register to vote, and learn more about the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council
Fitzgerald’s e-blast notes that to the national goals for the “Values Bus” tour (called “Saving the Dream“), is detailed on the Heritage Foundation website.
So the gloves are off — the national anti-equality, womb-controlling, marriage “protection” bigots are descending on NC and it’s time for people who have been sitting on the sidelines to date to commit to stopping this dangerous, poorly-written Amendment from making its way into our state constitution. May 8 looms large and the momentum to date by our side obviously has them scared enough to rev up the hate.
Learn more about the The Harms of Amendment One and share them with people you know around the country who would like to help and want to know more about it; contribute to the work of The Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families and its coalition of 117 partner orgs (I have a list of them below the fold).
One of the coalition partners, Neighbors for Equality, today posted on its Amendment 1 Truth Project blog, the official language that will be used by local Boards of Election to explain Amendment One. It will curl your hair. See it below the fold.
As reported in the Greensboro News & Record, the language in this was crafted and approved by the N.C. Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, made up of the current Secretary of State (Elaine Marshall), the current Attorney General (Roy Cooper) and the current director of legislative services (George Hall).
For people worried about “activist judges” and the power of the courts, all amendment proponents and the wingnut legislature have done is set the stage for endless legal challenges to the poorly-worded document. As Neighbors for Equality says:
The description reiterates what organizations working to defeat Amendment One have been saying all along – this legislation could have unintended consequences, the language of the amendment is vague and untested, we don’t know what all Amendment One could impact,“…the courts will ultimately make those decisions.”
As promised, here are the coalition partners working to defeat the amendment by getting the word out about its harms and making people aware that they need to get out on May 8 and VOTE AGAINST Amendment One.
ACLU-NC; Equality NC; Faith in America; Human Rights Campaign; Replacements, Ltd.; Self-Help; Southerners On New Ground (SONG).
Action NC; Alliance of Baptists; All of Us NC; Alliance at UNC Asheville; Appalachian State University College Democrats; ARC of NC; Asheville NOW; Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists; Baptist Peace Fellowship; Beloved Community Center of Greensboro; Campaign for Southern Equality; Campus Pride; Center for Participatory Change; Citizens for Equity in Government; CLOSER; College Democrats of North Carolina; Commitment NC; Community United Church of Christ; Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist; Covenant with North Carolina’s Children; Davidson College Gay-Straight Alliance; Democracy North Carolina; Disability Rights North Carolina; Diversity in Faith: A Christian Church for All People; Duke Democrats; Duke LGBT Network; Duke Together Against Constitutional Discrimination (Duke Together); Durham People’s Alliance; East Carolina College Democrats; East Carolina University Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance; El Pueblo, Inc.; Epiphany Presbyterian Church; Episcopal Church of the Advocate; Equality Charlotte; Equality Winston-Salem; Family Equality Council; Guilford Green Foundation; Institute for Southern Studies; Latin American Coalition; LGBT Center of Raleigh; Libertarian Party of Mecklenburg County; Libertarian Party of North Carolina; Lillian’s List of NC; Mecklenburg LGBT Political Action Committee (MeckPAC); Methodist Federation for Social Action-North Carolina Annual Conference; NAACP-NC; NARAL Pro-Choice NC; National Association of Social Workers NC; National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, Inc. (NCCJ); NC NOW – North Carolina National Organization for Women; NC State University GLBT-Community Alliance; NC State University Graduate Student Social Work Association; Neighbors for Equality; North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute; North Carolina AIDS Action Network; North Carolina Alliance of Black Elected Officials; North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys; North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence; North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault; North Carolina Council of Churches; North Carolina Democratic Party; North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition; North Carolina Justice Center; North Carolina Policy Watch; North Carolina Social Justice Project; Not Right NC (Republicans Against Amendment One); Orange County Democrats; Pauli Murray Project; People of Faith for Just Relationships; People’s Alliance for American Liberty; PFLAG (National); PFLAG Alamance; PFLAG Carteret & Craven Counties; PFLAG Charlotte; PFLAG Flat Rock/Hendersonville; PFLAG Greensboro; PFLAG Hickory/Catawba Valley; PFLAG Lenoir/Caldwell County; PFLAG Rocky Mount; PFLAG Salisbury-Rowan; PFLAG Triangle; PFLAG Winston-Salem; Piedmont Triad Integrity; Planned Parenthood Health Systems; Planned Parenthood of Central NC; Progressive Democrats of North Carolina; Rainbow Community Cares; Salem College Democrats; Salem College Student Activist Movement; Southern Coalition for Social Justice; Stone Circles; The Freedom Center for Social Justice; The Firm of Mig Murphy Sistrom, CPA, PC; TransCarolina; Triangle Coalition of Reason; Trinity UCC; Umstead United Church of Christ; UNC Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Alliance; UNC School of the Arts GSSA; UUA Standing on the Side of Love Campaign; Unifour OneStop Collaborative; Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville, NC; Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Outer Banks; Unity in Greensboro; UNITY!; Vote Against Project; Western North Carolina Citizens Ending Institutional Bigotry; Young Democrats of North Carolina.
This is a broad coalition representing thousands of people who are working hard to make this the first state in the South to turn this effort of fear and bigotry back at the polls — and there is every reason that it can succeed, as I blogged earlier this week — the polling supports beating it back as long as we educate people about its harms and they go to the polls.
You can continue the momentum on the side of fairness for NC families by donating at ActBlue, or go to the ProtectNC web page.