• The fact that self-induced abortion carries penalties under any circumstances, even in states with abortion access, is a linchpin for me. Hung on that are the knowledgeable providers and medical professionals in general who are, or rightfully fear being, criminalized for offering evidence-based info — or even suggestions on where to find it (the World Health Org website).

    It is unthinkably cruel that the woman in Iowa who took a nasty fall down some stairs was subject to a criminal investigation because she also happened to be pregnant and sought medical care to ensure no unseen harm was caused to the hoped-for infant or herself.

  • Tiny edit suggested: Increase in online hotel searches. I couldn’t fathom at first why hotel rooms were being searched for legal weed.

  • Exactly, Alvin… and, if Perkins is serious about the people’s freedom to disregard court rulings, he would be leading the charge to defy other standard court orders to prove that contempt of court is not a thing.

    Seriously Tony, collect a dozen parking or traffic tickets and appear in front of a judge claiming you’ve discarded the opinions of unelected judges on an ash heap just like Judge McShane did with the Oregon marriage ban. Refuse to pay any fines or penalties. Go for a Supreme Court appeal, even. Then come back and let us know how it went.

  • Well put, Alvin. No matter how badly people wanted the bill of goods they were sold when they donated and volunteered, it was never going to buy them more than a temporary fix. And the further they’ve dug themselves in via the courts so far, the more incompetent their experts and leaders have proven themselves to be.

    The only thing more impotent and futile than contributing to past anti-equality efforts is continuing to fund them today.

  • It’s worth noting that Barber makes an utter mockery of the Liberty University School of Law. He serves not only as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law there, but as the Associate Dean for Online Programs.

    As a member of the Virginia State Bar, Barber has committed to Principles of Professionalism“the Principles [which] articulate standards of civility to which all Virginia lawyers should aspire.”

    Here are the opening principles:

    In my conduct toward everyone with whom I deal, I should:

    Remember that I am part of a self-governing profession, and that my actions and demeanor reflect upon my profession.

    Act at all times with professional integrity, so that others will know that my word is my bond.

    Avoid all bigotry, discrimination, or prejudice.

    Treat everyone as I want to be treated — with respect and courtesy.

    Act as a mentor for less experienced lawyers and as a role model for future generations of lawyers.

    Contribute my skills, knowledge and influence in the service of my community.

    Encourage those I supervise to act with the same professionalism to which I aspire.

    Lawyers who happen to be Liberty alumni, take note: The character and ethical standards of your alma mater are being trashed by Matt Barber. He is fighting every day to make your juris doctorate a joke. He’s being held up to the legal profession not just as reputable but worth emulating and qualified to mentor future members of your profession.

    If you don’t understand the toxic stain Barber’s presence represents among his legal peers, you’re not paying attention.

  • Why aren’t vigorous questions being pressed about stowaways ? The first sign of trouble was the shutdown of the nav system that could only be accomplished in an electronics bay under a hatch in the floor near (possibly in?) the cockpit. If a technically-adept hijacker was stowed away there, the circuit breakers could have been pulled, followed [...]

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not really noticed within Hispanic politics, and the alternate language he writes in is French.

    Lopez has been a bit of a rising star in NOM’s orbit for a while now.

  • The personal narrative as told by Lopez includes that he was raised by a lesbian parent who had partner who never lived in the same household, which he seems to credit his mom for as a wise and proper choice.

    His family members, no matter how they feel about his anti-gay advocacy, seem to have elected not to exploit the challenging family dynamics by going tit-for-tat with him in the public square.

    As far as I’m concerned, he can be as crazy and dysfunctional as he wishes, but any relevancy or respect he is afforded by the likes of Brian Brown and Tony Perkins will say much more about them than Lopez.

    And note the double standard: Any LGB or T voice who brought highly suspect information to the conversation, calling it “evidence”, while also publishing violence-laced erotica, would be discredited by other LGBT people, experts and orgs first, then pilloried by mercilessly by the right. Lopez, as a voice for the anti-gay right, is being embraced as an expert.

  • Bose in St. Peter MN commented on the blog post The Roundup for December 31st, 2013

    2014-01-01 08:29:09View | Delete

    Non-functioning link for “Regarding the power of Zionism and of how Israel can do no wrong with Jews in the U.S” appears to be targeted for TruthDig: ‘Israel Can Do No Wrong’: Jewish Dissent, Jewish Repression

  • Well put, Alvin…

    My recurring thought for these business folks is that they are refusing to exercise their basic legal rights in order to cry persecution.

    They refuse to say to customers that they’d prefer not to provide products or services for same-sex weddings.

    They block any possibility of a thoughtful conversation about whether they would be the best choice.

    They won’t put disclaimers on their websites or shop walls that they are proud supporters of NOM and “traditional” marriage.

    I have some empathy for these folks based on working for my own clients over the years — there is some business I would avoid, given that I need to feel a connection to the client’s org or business to be effective. But, it’s never necessary to flatly refuse because I don’t work with certain groups of people.

  • Hasn’t it also been reported that the Rube Goldberg machine depicted in the video was constructed by male engineers?

  • The two items which stood out to me after a first glance at the 990s…

    First, the Ruth Institute was part of the education fund, right? The implication was that activities directed by Jennifer Roback Morse were a subset of the educational arm’s activities (Morse was never titled NOM Education Director, for example). So, it’s also possible-to-likely that Morse had a much better year financially than NOM as a whole, ending with $1.6M in net worth. But, it’s also likely that those assets were used as collateral for NOM’s $2.7M year-end debt.

    Which leads organically to the second item: How does NOM finance $3M in debt as an org which had only $7M total revenue the prior year? I’m not the expert here, but if I was running a nonprofit, even with a great relationship with my bank(s), I would expect this proposal to fall flat: Hey, I know our relatively young org has never broken the $10M revenue mark yet, but this is our big year, sign us up for a $3M line of credit, OK? Thanks!

    The logical answers are that the debt is self-financed as much as possible, and that some/much of the finance gap has to be garnered either from, or collateralized by, wealthy supporters, with significant chunks coming at not-cheap interest.

    And, is it just me, or is it telling that none of NOM’s public face in 2013, including fundraising appeals, has mentioned the existence of 2012 debt? Until now, potential donors to the “Million Dollar Match” campaign have had no idea that the entire thing might be insufficient to recover from 2012 debt in 2014.

  • Bose in St. Peter MN commented on the blog post Ruth Institute Is Parting Ways With NOM

    2013-11-08 12:08:28View | Delete

    Perhaps affirming Morse’s shift in focus, the Ruth Institute site is hawking some of her anti-marriage equality pieces, but a mini-flurry of blog links yesterday and today doesn’t include anything on Illinois, Hawaii or ENDA.

    And topping the blog off at the moment is promo for a “revamped” version of Morse’s 2004 booklet, “101 Tips for a Happier Marriage…”

  • Bose in St. Peter MN commented on the blog post Ruth Institute Is Parting Ways With NOM

    2013-11-02 14:29:00View | Delete

    Curious about the background of the NOM/Ruth collaboration, I found some odds and ends thanks to archive.org and the NOM and Ruth sites.

    The first cut of the Ruth site in Aug 2008 named it as JRMorse’s project. Its street address has been constant in San Marcos since then, a PO box at a UPS Store named “Suite 222.”

    In latter 2008, Ruth carried a disclaimer on donations that it wasn’t yet an approved nonprofit. NonProfitFacts.com reports that it did get the nonprofit status and reported income for 2008-09 only, in sync with the NOM merger ending Ruth’s run as a separate entity.

    Timeframes for the merger are murky. By Feb 2009, Ruth site footers named it as a NOM project, but it wasn’t “announced” at the Ruth blog until June. Topping off the murkiness, NOM’s divorce announcement names a 3 year timeframe for the collaboration.

    Little link love seems to have been shared between the two blog sites since March of this year, maybe coinciding with an initial separation and filing of Ruth’s incorporation papers. Ruth doesn’t yet show up at GuideStar.org, also meshing with the “a 501(c)(3) Corporation” designation in the Ruth footers being a new thing.

    As a web developer, it would surprise me if Ruth had been sharing NOM’s site development people or tools. On the whole, Ruth websites seem a little neglected. Donations from the donate.html page at RuthInstitute.org are via PayPal, but from /pages/donate.html, links hit a dead end at kintera.org with an explanation-free “Closed” page.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the divorce, like many, was a long time brewing. JRM’s initial connection was with Maggie Gallagher, but she dropped out in early 2010, Brian Brown wasn’t content with as much independence for Ruth. So, the 2008-09 corp was dissolved, resulting in donations, finances and control more under his thumb. JRMorse went along with being routed to campaigns here in MN and elsewhere in 2012, but with tensions growing that became unworkable after NOM’s stunning losses.

    Ruth’s supposed focus on getting college kids thinking about marriage doesn’t have to be dependent on the anti-gay stuff, and now that it’s clear the anti-gay stuff is a loser on campus, Ruth has no reason to remain yoked to it.

  • Great catch, Laurel…

  • Bose in St. Peter MN commented on the diary post Pull up a Chair: Treasure Hunt by Elliott.

    2013-10-05 09:23:10View | Delete

    Looks like Captain Turtles is actually Rachel Jones.

    Great story…

  • Brian Brown’s blog post this a.m. is claiming $150K, but the donations page is still stuck at $50K, telling us:

    * NOM can’t manage its own donation page competently
    * the extra $100K likely came from a single, or just a couple, large donors
    * despite his money beg this morning, not even $1K came in today

    All on top of the fact that the reason big-money funders resort to matching gifts is doubting the competence of the org to raise money effectively from its supporters.

  • Yeah, ridiculous. Especially heinous considering parents covering their adult kids into their mid 20s — letting the parents intrude on their adult daughters’ health coverage.

    Relevant, but seldom mentioned, fact: Rep. Wieland’s non-government job is running an independent insurance agency owned by him and his wife. So, despite his claim that he just wants to represent individuals like himself, his lawsuit, if successful, would create a new product line of carved-out insurance plans to pad his bottom line.

  • Bose in St. Peter MN commented on the blog post ‘Ex-gay’ Event in DC a Huge Disaster

    2013-08-01 17:47:44View | Delete

    These are the people who pretended to have the support of FRC-Action, where Josh Duggar is the newly-installed Executive Director. The FRC, no stranger to media relations, never indicated any public support.

    If that was their first misstep, the next was imagining that lame duck Michele Bachmann and other legislators would stay in DC instead of kicking off their summer vacations.

  • The entire article at CampaignsAndElections.com is a remarkably thin piece of stenography on Schubert’s (and NOM’s) behalf.

    It’s adorable, though, that Schubert whines about NOM supporters not having the strength of character or the simple courage to do what they believe is right.

    Let’s just call it a courage deficit — supposedly, there are folks who are avidly, decidedly in support of NOM’s mission, who would contribute to NOM, but only in secret. But, how has the courage deficit developed? It’s a core feature, not an accident, of NOM’s strategy.

    Since Prop 8, equality-minded orgs have bred courage and fortitude into their donors and supporters. Armchair activists have been challenged to put their hearts and souls on the line, opening up simple conversations with friends, family, neighbors and colleagues letting those folks know who they are and why they stand where they do.

    By contrast, NOM has coddled and infantalized its supporters. It has promised to go to the ends of the earth to protect the names of donors. Even now that it has lost on that front and burned through most/all of its appeal options, it isn’t shifting gears to develop a fresh new message about Christians needing to show courage and fortitude by openly, publicly backing NOM.

    Good for them. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

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