SCOTUS Basically Guarantees That No One Will Ever Donate To NOM Again

Right now, the so-called National Organization for Marriage has five different court cases fighting campaign finance and public records laws in California, Iowa, Maine and Washington. NOM wants to hide its cash cows under the guise of protecting their donors from pro-LGBT harassment because those dastardly queers are known to boycott and even kick over lawn signs which are both hate crimes!

But yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States rejected a request by NOM-affiliate Protect Marriage Washington to block the release of the Referendum 71 petitioners who sought to repeal the state’s domestic partnership law. Though PMW has also appealed to the 9th Circuit Federal Court to prevent the release of names, it doesn’t really matter since many of the names have already been posted online anyway.

But the plum part of SCOTUS’ ruling rejection is that it basically sets a precedent for all NOM’s other court battles. Since the courts will take SCOTUS’ rejection into consideration when ruling on the current docket of cases, it all but ensures that we’ll know the names and dollar amounts of anti-gay supporters before too long. And you can bet that once that happens future supporters will think twice before publicly declaring their intolerance against LGBTs. After all, no one wants to be known as a bigot.

Well, no one except for the people working with NOM.

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  • the crustybastard

    SCOTUS decides there’s nothing to decide, because there isn’t.

    Are all the signatures posted anywhere yet?

  • rf

    39 dvds of signatures in the Washington 71 case went out to the public immediately after the 9th circuit ruling (right before they were stopped pending this SCOTUS ruling). Seattle Weekly published a link to download the dvd so the names are already out there. Problem is, its just a whole bunch of sheets of names. Apparently there is a group working on making the list searchable and I’m sure we’ll hear about it when its available.

  • Abel

    I hope in the future that it is made plain to ALL petition signers and donors that their signatures and their donations will be made public. Perhaps people would think twice about donating to hate groups such as NOM or AFA or FRC, or signing petitions to deprive fellow citizens of their civil rights.

  • Mudduck

    I remember that in Washington there was a problem with petition gatherers misleading people about what they were signing. I suspect that when the signatures are made public, many people will be surprised to see their names. The organizations may fear that publishing the lists will reveal their shoddy methods in compiling them.

  • Victor

    This is an amazing Dan Villarreal post. Nearly every sentence contains an error. I mean, even by Villarreal standards, this one should win some kind of an award. Let’s just correct just a few of the most obvious errors:

    – SCOTUS didn’t issue a ruling. It refused to hear the appeal or, more technically, it denied a petition for certiorari. This has no precedential effect.

    – Protect Marriage WA is not a NOM affiliate. It is an independent group run by a WA pastor, Gary Randall. In Protect Marriage WA’s big fight in 2009 over Referendum 71, NOM contributed only 5 grand to the effort, in contrast to the $2.5 million it spent in Maine.

    – The case did not involve the identities of NOM donors or, indeed, any donors to any group.

    Gee, other than that, the post was very accurate. How is it that, with all of the talented unemployed and underemployed journalists out there, that Queerty keeps on paying for Dan Villarreal’s services? What does it take to get fired from Queerty?

  • ian

    This is great. Unlike voting, supporting a particular cause should not be private. Basically NOM supporters just had their sheets and hoods removed. I truly hope none are harassed though, that would play into their hands. Intimidation is wrong no matter who is doing it. I do think if one believes in a cause or social/political position enough to support it financially one shouldn’t be afraid to show ones face. If one really thinks a cause is moral and just then stand up and take responsibility and be open about it.

  • Ken S

    I’d like to see this as a victory, too, but do you think it will really make much of a difference “on the ground?” So sponsors- presumably corporate as well as private- of these petty, disgusting bigotry-mongers will be “outed.” We’ll have a list of names of those financing the hateful little campaign of defending ‘tradition’ and exceptional privilege at the expense of human beings’ equal rights and dignity. But then what? A boycott? For every one of us whose business they lose, they’re likely to pick up a supporter with the mentality of “well, now that I know they’re upright corporate citizens standing up for ‘Murican values against them fags, I’mma buy all my banjo strings and diapers there!”

    Or shall we just publicly shame them? Except, wait, nowadays the whole concept of shame is topsy-turvy; the people who feel it most sharply (ie. gay kids, shy kids, people whose jobs get ‘downsized,’ girls who look at fashion magazines and start starving themselves) feel it for no good reason, and those who have every fuckin’ reason to (kids who steal, kids who bully, adults who bully, politicians who cheat on their spouses while espousing “family values,” etc) feel no shame whatsoever.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have the information than not-have it; better the opportunity to make informed choices vis-a-vis one’s enemies (their choice, not ours). I just don’t think we should congratulate ourselves too much as long as we also choose to stick with tepid, ineffective, conventional measures of response. Tell me “we found out Target is sponsoring homophobia, so we’re going to Costco instead!” and I won’t be that impressed. Tell me “we found out Target was sponsoring homophobia, so we hacked their bank accounts, cleaned ’em out, and then Jimmy set their corporate HQ on fire and it’s visible from space!” and shit, I’ll go to Costco for some marshmallows, that would be something to get excited about.

    But we’re much too quick to claim victory or feel self-satisfaction nowadays, they both end up being very hollow– the dragon isn’t beaten when you’ve learned its name, the dragon is beaten when you’ve cut off its fucking head and salted the earth atop its bones.

  • Ken S

    @ian: “Intimidation is always wrong?” Politically-correct nonsense. Intimidating wrong-doer’s so that they stop their wrong-doing is not itself wrong. If there is such a thing as right and wrong, just and unjust, good and evil– or even if we choose to believe that there is– and if we discern the one from the other with any resolve, then the rest is mostly just tactics and strategy- it’s the proper outcome, good prevailing over evil, that matters most.

    Is “intimidation” such a black-hearted means that using it would turn the advocates of justice into agents of injustice? Really? Would it be better not to “intimidate” a thug who tries to steal your wallet because he thinks you look like an easy target? If the Nazis could have been “intimidated” by the Alliance into surrendering rather than waging years of war, would that have made us ‘the bad guys?’

    It’s positively absurd the amount of hand-wringing that people of good conscience indulge in while trying to figure out how to approach the problem of injustice, of bigotry, or ignorant hateful violence; it borders on a self-flagellation fetish (which at least gets some people off when done literally instead of metaphorically). IF we are right in standing up for ourselves against unjust oppression, from enemies who will give no quarter, then we aren’t morally obliged to give them any quarter. If they won’t stop coming at us as long as they’re alive, then it’s arguably more ethical to put them down hard and fast, rather than prolong the conflict through passivity while the casualties continue to pile up.

  • Kurt

    @Ken S: You know, you are full of shit.

    You talk about Politically-correct nonsense…wrong-doers …a thug …Nazis …bigotry, or ignorant hateful violence…a self-flagellation fetish …enemies who will give no quarter, …put them down hard and fast

    These are petitions to put a question on the ballot. Not financial donation, not a list of leaders. There are millions of people out there that might rightly be called weak minded but none of the nasty terms you use. They may have misunderstood the petition or been mislead. They might have a fuzzy headed view of “oh, I sign anything just to allow people to have a choice.” Maybe the petitioner was a really hot looking stud and the signer didn’t even read it.

    I’m glad the names are public because my hope is that it will cause people to be more thoughtful when they sign these petitions. But I’m not about to launch a jihad against someone I know nothing else about other than they signed (or someone with their name signed).

  • Daniel Villarreal


    – Though SCOTUS rejected rather ruled on PMW’s request, they voted 7 to 1 to do so, basically ruling that the case did not deserve consideration. Nevertheless, I have changed the word to reflect a rejection rather than a formal ruling as per your point.

    – Protect Marriage is a NOM-affiliate and every other LGBT blog thinks so. Apart from financial backing, the two also share organizing advice and messaging strategies.

    – While the case involved petitioners rather than donors (something I explicitly mentioned above), the rejection will likely influence other court decisions in NOM’s current docket of cases.

    We appreciate your continued readership and support of and our quality articles.

  • Ken S

    @Kurt: “But I’m not about to launch a jihad against someone I know nothing else about other than they signed (or someone with their name signed).”

    You do realize that “jihad” means struggle, right, and not necessarily some bloody crusade? Because whether it’s Deliberate Malice or whether it’s Lazy Ignorance that’s signing its name to the putting of your freedom up for referendum, if you aren’t prepared to struggle against it to your utmost, then what good are you? What are you besides a consenting slave, when you say “oh, well, maybe they just couldn’t be bothered to read the thing before they endorsed a petition to put the negation of my rights on a ballot.” If you think it’s- what- forgivable, that people sign that just because it was stuck under their nose, then what about when it’s actually on a ballot and- like so many people do- they vote on that without knowing anything about the issue? Will you be so sanguine when you’re voted to second- or third-class citizenship by a bunch of unthinking sheep on election day who checked “yes” just because it was there? Inaction may be very zen but in politics your inaction serves your opponents far more often than it serves you. They will try to get away with whatever they can– you can fight vigorously, or you can cede ground to them until they’ve taken your own burial plot, too. The first way, you might lose, the second way, it’s guaranteed.

    Demanding justice isn’t a part-time occupation, and it doesn’t entertain a bunch of soft excuses. You don’t pardon those who are complicit with oppression because they were too lazy or apathetic to know right from wrong– you tell them, “these are the sides and this is what’s at stake,” and if they then choose the wrong side, then they’re on the wrong side.

    Maybe a little wisdom of the ages, in case my own argument isn’t sufficient:

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu; “It is the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressor their mistakes.” -Audre Lorde; “To pardon the oppressor is to deal harshly with the oppressed.” -Sa’di

    Far wiser people have hit this chord over and over again through history. Where have you been?

  • ian

    @Ken S:
    Sorry, I must disagree. Ours is a civil rights struggle and violence or the threat of violence gives and oppressor an excuse to continue, even double down on his oppressive measures. I look to MLK and who he took inspiration from; Ghandi and Thoreau (from whom Ghandi derived his tactics). If MLK had exhorted the African American community to violence it would have been an incalculable disaster and set back the cause for generations. Non-violent resistance is not passive, it serves to highlight how immoral, anti-human and un-American any oppressor truly is. Bigots are cowards and much can be done by simply unmasking them. I think you misconstrue the quotes you provide to Kurt, none of them are arguing that oppressors be delt with in a violent manner, it says more about you in how you interpret them than it says about them.

  • Steve

    I expect NOM will soon have a fire. Of course, all of the donor records and financial records will be destroyed by the fire.

    The next day, a brand new organization run by Maggie Gallagher will send a brand new solicitation to all of the same people, also promising to keep the donations confidential.

    During the investigation of the fire, the forensic fire investigators will find bags of shredded documents that were, somehow, not burned.

  • Riker

    @ian: MLK didn’t advocate violence, but other groups such as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers did. The Civil Rights movement needed both sides to be as effective as it was.

  • Ken S

    @ian: Is violence preferable? No, obviously not. But is it more sensible to take the use of force in self-defence off the table? If you swear that you will never fight back, it’s just a matter of time until someone looking for an easy victim comes for you. Bullies often are cowards, but they’re also opportunists- they’ll go after you if they know you’re going sit there or lay down and take it.

    Attempt reason, obviously. Try argument. Give diplomacy and education every chance. But when an intractable foe attacks and will not be satisfied by anything less than your nullification, if you want to live you must be prepared to take that fucker out. I’m not saying you should kill everyone that’s determined to give you a hard time; rather, that you should be prepared to use every bit as much force to protect yourself as your enemies will use to harm you, on a case-by-case basis. That’s just prudence.

  • Dan

    The only reason organized desert religions last is that they advocate “love thy neighbor” at the same time advocating “eye for an eye, a life for a life.” – covers all bases that way and so they endure and remain relevant in all circumstances.

  • Victor

    @Daniel Villarreal:

    – SCOTUS only grants about 1% of the petitions for certiorari that it receives. When it denies certiorari, it is NOT ruling on the merits and is NOT “basically” saying that the case is not worthy of consideration on the merits. A case can be rejected because the docket is full, because the appeal does not raise any novel legal issue or, as seems likely here, because the dispute was rendered moot by the release of the R71 names. This is basic stuff, or would be if you had any actual experience covering the courts.

    – Protect Marriage WA is not a NOM affiliate and it doesn’t become true just because you can link to a page of google results showing that other bloggers say that it is so. You say that “Apart from financial backing, the two also share organizing advice and messaging strategies.” What financial backing? Other than the 5K that NOM donated specifically for the R71 campaign, and which was spent over 2 years ago, what are you talking about? And what sharing of organizing advice and messaging strategies? Where is the evidence of any of this? In the entire R71 litigation, not one individual from NOM was deposed or considered as a relevant witness. The group is run by Randall and a few locals.

    Moreover, even if they did share advice and strategies, that
    wouldn’t make PMWA an affiliate. Please buy a dictionary and look up the word “affiliate”. Your use of the term here is even more egregious, since your headline suggests that there is some immediate impact on NOM from this case.

    – Uh, huh, thanks for admitting that the case has nothing to do with donors. Donor disclosure is analyzed under a completely different set of constitutional, statutory, and common law provisions and precedents. The claim that Protect Marriage Washington was appealing was decided on a specific WA statute that governed the petitioning process, which itself is considered part of the public act of lawmaking. To put up a headline that SCOTUS’s denying certiorari means that no one will donate to NOM is, frankly, stupid.

    But since most of your posts are either horrifically offensive (e.g., your post about Tyler Clementi’s sexual preferences) or homophobic (e.g., your post about how gays need to admit that they want to indoctrinate kids), perhaps we should be grateful for a Villarreal post that is merely stupid.

  • Morgan Terrill

    You can’t make people love you, but you can make them fear you.

  • Henry

    Ken S (who is probably Charles Rozier), you’re an effeminate piece of shit. Your post reeks of secret, nervous love of the Nazi regime for its absolute, iron-fisted, passive-aggressive power structure in Germany. You know that “intimidating” a government is fair game (they call that foreign policy), and has nothing to do with intimidating individuals or organizations like NOM.

  • Henry

    @Morgan Terrill: If I could make a psychopathic anti-gay man fall in love with me, anyone can be made to fall in love. Granted that his understanding of “love” is “what can I get out of him,” I was still very important to him, perhaps the second most important person in his life, and he was willing to do things for me that he would not have done under any other circumstances. I got him to beg me more than once.

  • o

    @Henry: “More than once”? You’re too humble, Henry. It was many times, and in many ways: to get your forgiveness, to get you back to posting, to get you to tell him all about life’s most subtle mysteries. He practically wet himself trying to get you to come back.

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