NOM | Providence

NOM President Tweets About Pro-Gay Activists At Rally in Providence

NOM parked their BP-filled tour bus by the steps of the Rhode Island state Capital in Providence this afternoon and participated in yet another lowly attended rally for their “One Man, One Woman’’ campaign. 

A couple of pro-gay activists stormed the NOM podium and NOM president Brian Brown, in his typical scaremongering and sensationalist way, tweeted pictures that he's tagged with overtly alarmist terminology, referring to the "militancy and incivility" of the counter protesters. Brown also tweeted a picture of a gay rights activist and has hilariously dubbed the man “The face of intolerance.” Funny, 'cause I thought this was the face of intolerance.
Brown also managed to contradict himself in two separate descriptions of how the the Rhode Island Capital police responded to the "militant" pro-gay protesters. He tweeted: "Protestors embarass themselves, cause. Storm our stage. Refuse to listen to Capitol police." But then in a post on the NOM site (visit it here if you dare), writes, "...I was physically surrounded by three people trying to shout me down as Capitol Police did nothing."

NOM president Brian Brown also tweeted that a rainbow flag-colored umbrella protest in Albany yesterday in Albany was the "Silliest. Protest. Ever."

More pictures of the two protests as well as a video clip, AFTER THE JUMP.





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  1. I appreciate what you bloggers do, but this post has such a juvenile sarcastic tone. It reads like a post on Queerty. I don't mind some commentary, but here, it isn't insightful.

    Posted by: TonsofT | Jul 18, 2010 7:52:18 PM

  2. Towel Road,

    Check your facts a little bit and correct this post. The rainbow umbrella and dog incident occurred in Albany, NY yesterday.

    The rushing of the podium took place today in Providence. You can check my blog for some accurate links and posts regarding the three wonderful activists today.

    So the "Silliest protest ever" was insulting the Albany, NY counter protest. The rush (face of intolerance) was today in Providence.

    Posted by: RJ | Jul 18, 2010 8:31:00 PM

  3. People will only take so much. There's another stonewall brewing. Mark my words. Widespread youth unemployment. Aggressive intolerance in terms of putting one's status as citizen up for a vote based on immutable sexual orientation. The country is in the process of being taken back from the Bushites. Just ask Michael Moore.

    I love it!

    Posted by: O@Delphi | Jul 18, 2010 9:41:00 PM

  4. I am the face of intolerance. haha... (that is me in the picture.)

    I'm going to try and write a blog to post somewhere about what really happened today. It was amazing. We didn't embarrass ourselves; we showed that they are filled with lies and hate. Thank you so much to the organizers in Rhode Island! It was a honour protesting beside you all.

    Posted by: Vito J. Oliver | Jul 18, 2010 9:55:49 PM

  5. Towleroad - I just read in a few newspaper reports that we had about 175 LGBT activists at this NOM rally today !! More than the number of NOM haters. It was not just "two of our activists at the podium."

    Also, some of those photos you have posted are not from today, but from a different protest of NOM.

    Some of the LGBT protesters that you see are from Queer Rising NYC. Standing up for our rights and confronting Homophobia where is rears its ugly head!!

    Posted by: Lauren | Jul 18, 2010 10:08:24 PM

  6. Does anybody get the sense that these NOM people actually know that they aren't going to win this battle longer term? I sense that all this is really about reminding gay folks that they can be protected by equal laws (eventually, finally), but that lots of old people will still hate them and think they don't deserve to be an equal.

    How frighteningly out of line with the intent of this country, and all the things it's worked to achieve.

    Posted by: James | Jul 18, 2010 10:16:51 PM

  7. Just a quick correction. Both are correct, actually. Only a few of us stormed the podium but eventually the entire counter protest moved in front of NOM and we chanted them down.

    Posted by: Vito J. Oliver | Jul 18, 2010 10:19:24 PM

  8. Thumbs up if you think Vito looks hot in that pic. (Thumbs up!)

    I would suggest crashing NOM rallies with mini pride parties. Bring a boom box and some friends and reenact Lady Gaga videos (or whatever). Guaranteed to steal their thunder.

    Posted by: Max | Jul 18, 2010 10:57:11 PM

  9. I TOTALLY understand the frustration of the protesters but I think "rushing the podium" and "shouting down" the speakers is counterproductive and gives them ammunition (not that they need any; if they don't get it they make it up).

    I think the silent protests in Albany were VERY effective.

    Plus, I don't WANT the speakers shouted down and shut up. I want them to speak LOUDLY. I think we should do everything in our power to make sure MORE people hear what they have to say. I can think of NOTHING that does our side more good and their side more harm than getting them more exposure as they speak their hate and idiocy freely.

    Don't shout them down! Get them a BIGGER microphone. Get them MORE media attention! Video and replay their speeches OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

    This is one of those occasions where our main job should be to provide them as much rope as they will take. They will make GREAT use of it as they hang themselves.

    Just look at all the attention they've been getting lately. Even that they felt was positive for them has been devastatingly bad for them. Rushing their stage and shouting them down and providing them with these photos actually lessens the effectiveness and pace of their very public suicide.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 18, 2010 11:10:15 PM

  10. The ONLY purpose of the NOM hate tour is to bait gay activists. Please ignore them or protest in silence.

    I absolutely understand the anger and the impulse to 'storm the podium,' but it's not doing us any good.

    I am all for direct action. I love Get Equal. But the trick is knowing when to embarrass our enemies, and when to simply be better than our enemies. NOM is garbage, and they do a fine job of embarrassing themselves.

    Posted by: Dan | Jul 18, 2010 11:26:46 PM

  11. VERY PROUD OF MY FELLOW QUEER RISING NYC MEMBERS (pictured) WHO STORMED THE FEEBLE N.O.M. PODIUM!!! Send your love to the activists any chance you can (and join us!) Visit Queer Rising on Facebook!

    Posted by: Eugene | Jul 18, 2010 11:34:48 PM

  12. I saw their damn bus on 95 as I was leaving Providence Place mall this afternoon. It took all I had not to be the douchebag and run them into a wall with my truck. Get the hell out of my state. I wish I would have known they were showing up. I had some Marine friends in who would have backed me up.

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 19, 2010 12:36:14 AM

  13. To hell with the NOMbies!!!!

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Jul 19, 2010 12:53:45 AM

  14. I like the idea of turning their stupid hate rallies into a big gay party. Who gives a fuck if they're offended or feel disrespected? I say drown and mock!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jul 19, 2010 4:10:13 AM

  15. It worked during the health care debate, why is it not good for the gays! People from NOM are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.

    Posted by: Jeff Dunivant | Jul 19, 2010 8:01:25 AM

  16. After reading a few tweets by and anecdotes about Brown ("Not your Grandpa's homophobe!" says the Washington Post) just from this trip, I second any call for remote restraint and creative protest (the umbrella parade) rather than direct confrontations in the form of shoutdowns and whatnot. The paranoia and persecution complex from him and his pals on this trip seems to be at a particularly fevered pitch. They seem to be having even less fun that the Westboro Baptists.

    Aside from the fact that the "shoutdown picture" is going to get them way more cash than the slashed-tire stunt, I just personally tend to keep a minimum physical/interreaction distance from people once I've decided they're a certain kind of unstable. And these folks have that certain jennesequa. Of course, YMMV.

    Given a fixed set of data and input (e.g., cut off a NY roadway by an obnoxious driver), their processors spit out, let's just say, unreliable reports. Get too close, and you may find yourself charged with assault or whatnot. That's obviously a worst-case scenario, but these folks are borderline unhinged from reality. Like a burning fire, it looks pretty - from a distance.

    Posted by: Name2 | Jul 19, 2010 8:16:37 AM

  17. I do not support shouting people down but it's typically hypocritical of the right to suddenly be outraged that anyone would behave this way when they showed up en masse to shout down Democratic Congressmen in town halls all over the country only a year ago.

    But please just let them speak and then respond. The more they show their bigotry the better for us. If we let them turn themselves into victims (which the right just loves to do, especially the religious right) it gains them support. Also, it makes these events newsworthy which otherwise they wouldn't be. They'd have had a better turnout for a lawn sale!

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Jul 19, 2010 8:23:44 AM

  18. Too bad they're not coming to my neck of the woods. I'd really love to make a pair of yellow warning protest signs:

    Hazardous levels of bigotry
    Keep away from animals and pregnant mothers"


    Military-grade idiocy
    May cause brain damage"

    With the right stick figure illustration, this would be hilarious.

    Posted by: MaskedBandit | Jul 19, 2010 9:51:13 AM

  19. For those who are claiming that it is effective and productive to "shout them down" and "shut them up", I suppose that you also believe that we should have shut down their Facebook account rather than exposing it, promoting it and giving more people access to the hateful things being said there? That Facebook account, because it was exposed and promoted did them ENORMOUS harm. So much so that they went into damage control to deny it was theirs and went to the trouble of changing its name and look. If we had followed YOUR strategy we would have just had it shut down and NONE of these wonderfully horrible things would have even happened to NOM. The same goes for their TWEETS. Do you want to shout/shut them down too? Are you fucking kidding me? They're GOLD! We need to copy them and mass distribute EVERY tweet they make. They are DAILY running people over to our side NOT because we are shouting them down or shutting them up but because we are giving them bigger microphones, ENCOURAGING people to listen to them and exposing them, with their OWN words and their OWN actions, for the hateful, bigoted, crazy people they are. People who are fence sitters are coming to our side in droves and even people who have been on their side, for one reason or another, are seriously considering their positions and their motivations.

    Every time we "shout them down" and "shut them up" we not only stop them from exposing themselves and committing political suicide, but we run the chance of pushing those fence sitters the other way.

    I'm all for direct action activism. I've been doing it since before the people in that picture were born. But I've learned over the years that just because something makes you personally feel good doesn't mean it's the most effective or productive way to protest our oppressors or promote our rights.

    Debate? YES! Challenge? ABSOLUTELY! Be visible, active and utilize direct action tactics? CERTAINLY! But don't harass, even when you're being harassed. Don't disrespect, even when you're being disrespected. Don't shout down and shut up, even when you're being shouted down or not being heard. It may seem unfair but I'll assure you that the side that comes off as calm, informed, peaceful, intelligent and sincere is the side that wins the day. It only takes one person who looks angry and out of control to give the other side "victim" status and, like it or not, that trumps "calm, informed, peaceful, intelligent AND sincere". Why do you think NOM relies on the victim card so damned much? Because it's their ONLY card. They don't have truth or justice on their side.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 19, 2010 11:50:09 AM

  20. "lowly attended"? I think "lightly attended" is correct. "lowly" means "subordinated". Or "put beneath". Let's not try to outdo Sarah P.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 19, 2010 1:19:39 PM

  21. The Rhode Island protesters did our cause a disservice. There is something to be said for appearing meek and humble. A picture is worth a thousand words and the picture of snarling, angry protesters will do many times more damage to us than the good the protesters were attempting to accomplish ever will.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Jul 19, 2010 1:29:30 PM

  22. TampaZeke

    Yes because we all know that that has worked oh so well so far.

    WTF? Being PC is killing us. You have to FIGHT for your rights. Because no amount of debating, discussion or asking nicely is ever going to change thier minds. And if you ignore them they will just breed hate becaus theres always going to be someone just as stupid and hateful as they are to follow them.

    You need to face facts. Sometimes you need to stand up, fight, and bully the bully until THEY back down.

    Posted by: Will | Jul 19, 2010 1:35:30 PM

  23. WILL, so you believe that the picture of the woman screaming at Brian Brown is going to change minds. Keep in mind, NO ONE has any idea what she said, all they have is the picture. You actually believe that this woman screaming at Brown is going to change more minds than video taping his hate speech and then broadcasting it far and wide?

    Don't tell me to face facts. You're promoting what makes YOU feel good. What helps to mollify your anger and frustration. That is perfectly understandable but it isn't what changes the minds of those who we need to influence it just gives those who already agree with us a sense of satisfaction. That does NOTHING to help the cause any more than the Christian cause is helped by fundamentalists rushing the stage of a gay pride event screaming bible verses through megaphones. If you think the Christians are effective then by all means support those on our side that copy their tactics. If you think that all they do is tickle the fancy of those who already agree with them then how could you possibly think that us doing the same would accomplish something different?

    I think it's YOU who needs to face facts.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 19, 2010 1:56:09 PM

  24. TampaZeke

    No I don't think it's going to change minds. Because you can't change HATE. This is not an issue someone makes up thier minds on. People like us or they don't. If they are bigots against us no amount of "talk" is ever going to change thier minds. The small increments in acceptance of LGBT rights comes form new generations coming of asge. NOT the changing of old generations minds.

    If YOU are content with waiting another 30-40 years for the older bigots to die out until we all have Equakl Rights then thats your choice.

    At least if we FIGHT they might just back down and think twice before attacking us again. And who knows. people might see us as passionate about our cause instead of "begging" for our rights and "whining" about why they aren't coming quicker.

    Posted by: Will | Jul 19, 2010 2:09:15 PM

  25. One more thing. As I mentioned before, I'm ALL for direct action. I've been doing it for DECADES! I've NEVER discouraged fighting or demonstrating or challenging bullies.

    What I have learned through experience is that the most effective protests and demonstrations are one's where INJUSTICE is attacked with everything we've got. You have to attack the policies not the people who support the policies. You have to challenge the lies of the enemy but you have to do it in a way that is EFFECTIVE and having a screaming match with a speaker in front of a crowd that is there to hear him speak is NOT effective.

    You challenge them through planned, moderated, PUBLIC debates. You challenge them with respectful but unapologetic posts on discussion boards. You challenge them with fact filled, respectful, intelligent letters to the editor. You challenge them by having press conferences of your own, at the same time or directly following EACH and EVERY one of their bus stop speeches. You challenge them by being as committed as they are to investing time and resources to get OUR message out by doing public speaking engagements, forming freedom and justice tours, talking to your family, friends and neighbors. I'm always amazed at how many so-called activist experts there are who aren't even out to their family or their neighbors or they NEVER speak up when they hear someone, even a "friend" use gay slurs or say some ignorant thing about gay people or the gay community but somehow consider themselves experts on the most effective ways to accomplish gay equality.

    If your aim is to feel good and blow off steam regardless of the consequences, that's your choice. I'll tell you now, it's a bad one. If you want to be as effective as possible then you have to control your anger and frustration and learn to channel it is directions that may not give you instant satisfaction but will move you most effectively toward our common goals. The next time your inclination is to scream FUCK YOU at a speaker, take a deep breath and THINK, and then consider turning to the person next to you who supports the speaker, kindly and respectfully introduce yourself and ask them if you could tell them a little about yourself. Explain to them what the real "gay agenda" is. Tell them about your joys and fears. The may, or may not respond well but you will be remembered and they will NEVER be able to get you, or what you said, out of their minds. They also won't be able to forget or deny how kind and respectful you were. It may not turn them into a marriage supporter overnight (though it may) but it's guaranteed to move them some degree closer, even a micro-degree closer, to at least listening to and considering our concerns. It will also make them pay more and more attention to the meanness and hatefulness that Brian Brown is becoming more and more forthright with.

    You may ask, how would that possibly help or change anything. You'd be AMAZED! I've done it MANY times and I can't believe how effective it has been. I know for a fact that NO ONE in that crowd in Providence who supported NOM left questioning their support based on the screaming protester. So how then can anyone claim that such tactics are effective or helpful? I also know that there is a very good chance that people in the crowds might have been and could have been changed by simple, respectful discussions with some of the respectful protesters that were in the background. If, through this, ONE mind could opened to CONSIDERING rethinking their position then it's one mind more than the screaming protester. And that one mind talks to other NOM supports from a position of influence that we could never hope to have. And so on and so on...

    I encourage you and others to just try it. I think you'll be amazed at the response.

    I also encourage those of you who bitch and moan about how other people fight for justice (whether you support passive resistance or "shout down and shut up" tactics) but do NOTHING to join the fight yourselves in SOME way to get off of your asses and do SOMETHING!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 19, 2010 2:24:38 PM

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