Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the National Organization For Marriage‘s Ruth Institute, sent a mass email blast out to supporters with images of valuable Chicago Bears autographed memorabilia, and the false claim suggesting that the Bears are “supporting our message” by donating the items for auction.
Hawking their “It Takes A Family” fundraiser, Roback Morse wrote in the email:
This year, we’re planning on sending our graduates off with a bang! And we’ve got some help! Several donors have stepped up and donated terrific items for us to raffle as prizes in an effort to raise funds for ITAF ’13.
We’re going to be notifying you regularly between now and June 2nd (the night of the Gala) as to what is developing for the evening’s surprises. For now, you should know that we have two fabulous raffle items from the Chicago Bears Organization (and a huge THANK YOU to the Bears for supporting our message).
The items for auction were a Walter Payton signed photo and a Bears jersey signed by Brian Urlacher.
“I sign a lot of stuff for charity and I don’t always know where it goes,” Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune:
“If I would have known it was for this cause, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Jarrett Payton, Walter’s son, had no comment when reached by Tribune.
“The two items featured in The Ruth Institute gala invitation were personal donations to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse,” the Bears said, almost immediately, in a statement. “Neither was a club donation, nor do they represent the team’s view on any social issues. Any remarks stating otherwise are false.”
And almost immediately also, Jennifer Roback Morse was forced to issue a statement:
“The Ruth Institute is not working with the Chicago Bears organization or any of its players past or present to promote our upcoming auction. The memorabilia we are auctioning off was acquired by me personally, not through the team or players. We understand that the Chicago Bears organization takes no position on social issues, and we regret any confusion we may have caused on this point.”
Let’s say that again: “We regret any confusion we may have caused on this point.”
In other words, once again, it would seem NOM lied.
Only this time, they got caught and realized the consequences because they are dealing with an organization far bigger than they are, far more influential than they are, and far more able to sway the national conversation against them.
@waymonhudson Items were personal donations; not from club. They don’t represent team’s view on any social issues.Any other remarks R false.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2013
By the way, Equality Matters included this in their report today:
Last year, an Equality Matters undercover investigation revealed that NOM’s ITAF conference was peddling damaging anti-gay misinformation to attendees, including:
- Same-sex parents or more likely to molest their children than heterosexual parents
- Children raised by gay parents are more likely to identify as gay
- Homosexuality is a sin akin to polygamy or incest
- Same-sex relationships are “dysfunctional” and “inherently unstable”
The conference also featured Robert Gagnon, a theologian who promotes “ex-gay” therapy and recently compared gay-straight alliances to Nazi skinhead groups. Gagnon’s book, which claims that gay people are “worthy of death,” was also on sale at the conference.
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