on tour

Maryland Police Overwhelmed By NOM’s Enormous Crowds Numbering In the Ones

It gives me the sads that the National Organization for Marriage’s nationwide bus tour isn’t attracting the crowds. Think about how many people they could expose to the sun’s harmful rays if only more people were interested in raping away your civil rights! Even Christina Aguilera had the good sense to cancel her tour when she learned nobody was that interested. But must NOM resort to involving the Maryland police in trying to shut down documenters’ First Amendment rights? Do police officers understand what the First Amendment is?

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    In Maryland you can’t record anyone without their permission. Period. It’s not a First Amendment issue, it’s state law.

    You do our movement a diservice by suggesting otherwise.

  • Cam


    There can be a state law that doesn’t square with the constitution. The Supreme Court spends much of their time shooting those down.

  • Tim W

    Sad part is YCKTR is right though it’s use as been perverted. This law came about because a female was renting a house from a gentleman who installed hidden cameras in the house. Since it was his house technically he had done nothing wrong. So the legislature passed this law not thinking of the unintended consequences. We have had 2 instances recently where citizens were trying to film police making arrests and the police made the same argument and threatened to arrest them.
    I agree with Cam that ultimately this broad use of the law will be struck down by a court as infringement of 1st Amendment rights.

  • rf

    lots of discussion about this is going on at http://www.prop8trialtracker.com – theyve posted a popular mechanics article outlining that videotaping in public, as long as its not interferring with policework or traffic, is A-OK. Cam is right, just because there’s a law in Maryland doesn’t mean its constitutional. but someone has to spend the time and money to challenge it–just like the prop8 trial in CA.


  • shanelle

    Seems to me therre ought to be a difference between recording someone in public or private.

    If I’m in a public forum giving a speech or singing or acting, that’s sounding OK by me. NOM is not having a private-like convo: they’re preaching their message.

    Record me in my own abode having a bubblybath without my consent? You gonna get hit-with the strongarms of the LAW, fool!

  • Sergio

    Hey Ryan! You can criticize anyone you want on here but when you start talking smack about my Christina, the gloves are coming off

  • slobone

    The issue here is NOT whether the cameraman was allowed to tape the rally. If you watch the video, the cop specifically says, You can stand over there all day [pointing somewhere off-camera].

    The law that the cop was applying is that if you have a permit for a rally, you control the space where the rally is taking place and don’t have to allow people with an opposing point of view into the space. The Supreme Court made that ruling in 1995 in the St. Patrick’s Day/Gay Irish group case. But of course the same law applies to people who hold a gay pride parade and don’t want anti-gay groups marching in the parade.

  • Dan

    Hopefully GLBTA groups turn NOM’s appearances into fundraisers for GLBTA groups, like they do with appearance of the Phelp’s clan. Nothing irks the zealots more than having their work turned against them into helping GLBTA groups.


    @ slobone

    Not true. A permit does NOT allow you to control a public space. Just means you are allowed to hold your event there. For further reading look up Outfest in Philly – they deal with this issue every year.


  • B

    “The law that the cop was applying is that if you have a permit for a rally, you control the space where the rally is taking place and don’t have to allow people with an opposing point of view into the space.”

    You don’t have to allow people expressing an opposing point of view into the space that is part of your event, but if you allow the general public there and if the media (NBC, CBS) would not be stopped from filming, then there are First Amendment issues with selectively stopping someone from filiming because you don’t like what you think they are thinking or what you think they might write.

    It’s not like this was a musical performance where no recordings are allowed.

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