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Brian Brown’s Shocking, Ugly Response To His Marriage Debate With Dan Savage

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The National Organization For Marriage late last night released a fundraising email loaded with shockingly offensive commentary about NOM President Brian Brown‘s dinner table marriage debate with noted LGBT author and activist Dan Savage. The email, a whopping 2525 words, uses hackneyed NOM tricks — like hate mongering, fear mongering, claims of religious and biblical superiority — and of course, ends with a fundraising plea, a pretty tacky exhibition of pure greed. Overall, Brown displays the fact that he’s unwilling to engage in true debate, consider anyone else’s position — and is a very bad guest.

Watch: Dan Savage Vs. Brian Brown — The Dinner Table Marriage Debate

“Let me pose a question to the Dan Savages of the world,” NOM President Brian Brown posits, dehumanizing his host as he fear-mongers to his supporters. “Once gay people were a powerless and defenseless minority.”

Now, you have organized, protested, and become powerful through the use of democratic freedoms and intellectual debate, a powerful cultural force in our time. What use do you intend to make of your power?

“Liberty when men act in groups is power,” as Edmund Burke said, and before we congratulate them, or they congratulate themselves, it behooves us to look at what use they intend to make of the growing cultural power.

[All bolding is Brian’s, not ours.]

What does Brian want his supporters to think we’re going to do with our “power”?

As an aside, here’s an excellent graphic, via Zack Ford at Think Progress, that addresses this very issue:

So, what are we going to do with this so-called power that the LGBT community supposedly has (which we don’t)? Get married. Raise families. Try to be happy, and live our lives.

In another breath, Brown states:

Dan Savage called us here at NOM liars. He thinks we are telling lies, because we say things he doesn’t believe.

“Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor’,” he told me. “I do believe NOM is in the bearing false witness business and routinely bears false witness against LGBT people.”

“NOM tends to do it through linking and surrogates,” he said, echoing the absurd arguments of Scott Rose and now also Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

NOM and its related businesses, like the Ruth Institute, have blatantly ignored truth and the law. And  yes, it is true that “NOM tends to do it through linking and surrogates,” as with the pastor who spoke at NOM’s anti-gay marriage rally, and said, as NOM officials stood by, not uttering a word in response to this statement, translated from Spanish:

“Gays are worthy of death.”

NOM did not issue a statement apologizing or refuting that statement. The only acknowledgment of it came fro  Maggie Gallagher, who wrote in the comments section of one of the many articles we published on the subject.

On that note, NOM certainly was quick to blame the LGBT community and the Southern Poverty Law Center for the Family Research Council shooting. NOM not once has come out to support our community or offer condolences — much less take any responsibility for contributing to a climate of hate  — when pastor after pastor after pastor has announced children who might seem to be gender non-conforming be “knocked” and beaten, that all gay people should be rounded up and put in pens, to “die out,” or that gay people are responsible for any one of a number of natural tragedies, like hurricanes and earthquakes.

Not. One. Peep. Courtesy of the folks at NOM, the National Organization For Marriage.

Meanwhile, often, sometimes daily, the anonymous “NOM staff” blogger(s) on the NOM Blog will publish excerpts of articles designed to attack the LGBT community, so NOM can claim it didn’t state those lies and half-truths and cherry-picked items, someone else did. Perhaps Brian should start actually reading the NOM blog?

We should note Brown mentions The New Civil Rights Movement’s own Scott Rose, who has written dozens of articles on NOM, and the Regnerus flawed anti-gay “parenting” study, which Brown brought up during his debate with Savage. Rose is responsible in large part for the actions taken by the University of Texas and the publisher of the Regnerus “study” that have led those associated with the Regnerus study to, as one reviewer employed by the publisher stated, call it “bullshit.”

Certain members of the gay community, embraced and endorsed by as powerful a voice as Dan Savage’s, are out trying to destroy a young scholar’s career—not debating and refuting his study, or accepting the challenge of coming up with random samples of gay parents raising children as Regnerus did—but trying to end his career because he published a study in a peer-reviewed journal—but Dan absurdly claimed that this attempted destruction of Prof. Regnerus’ career is our fault.

Well, that’s false. Regnerus’ peers and the LGBT community are trying to stop NOM, anti-gay organiztions, and hate groups from using a debunked and wildly flawed “study” that harms the entire LGBT community, the children we are raising, and empirical truth and facts. Regnerus’ career is not our focus, but he traded his reputation to advance his anti-gay agenda and his bank account, and that is unacceptable.

Sadly, the Regnerus study has now appeared in Supreme Court amicus briefs and a federal court judgment against a same-sex marriage case.

Almost the entire fundraising letter is skewed, fictional, divisive, attacking, offensive, and just plain ugly, but Brown couches it in religion so thinks that makes him right. It does not.

And he positions himself as the battling warrior hero, which is just plain dumb.

Comments like, “As I told Dan face to face,” “I went on to tell Dan in his own home,” and this gem:

I called for this debate with Dan Savage to show that I—with your support and help— that we would go anywhere to defend the principles that you and I hold dear.

Even into the Seattle, Washington home of a homosexual and his “husband,” right, Brian? Because that’s what you really wanted to say, isn’t it?

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You pointes to this passage from Brown’s email:

But leave it to the National Organization For Marriage, while thanking Dan for having him to his home, to pointedly downgrade Terry and Dan’s status:

Let me first begin by saying thank you to Dan Savage for the invitation to come to his home and the chance to meet his partner and his child.

Dan has since told the moderator, Mark Oppenheimer, that he regrets having the event at his home because his role as host interfered with his full prosecution of me (and through me, all NOM supporters):

“Playing host put me in this position of treating Brian Brown like a guest,” he said. “It was better in theory than in practice — it put me at a disadvantage during the debate, as the undertow of playing host resulted in my being more solicitous and considerate than I should’ve been. If I had it to do over again, I think I’d go with a hall.”

So I want to make sure and thank Dan Savage and his partner for opening their home to me.

And Hooper notes:

Probably not that big of deal to Brian, since his career is quite literally built around taking away certain kinds of Americans’ legal statuses. But surely a huge deal to Dan, Terry, and *their* son.

Perhaps we should just be thankful Brian didn’t go with colleague, associate, or Player #2.

Yes, overall, Brian Brown is a bad guest. But he’s also a bad citizen, working hard to jam down people’s throats his idea that marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman — not two men or two women — and making the LGBT community out to seem evil.

That not just bad public policy, that’s not just bad citizenship, that’s not just bad business practice, that’s just plain bad.

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News

Trump Witness Turns ‘Strawberry Red’ After Judge’s Scalding Scolding

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New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, after becoming visibly angered by Trump defense witness Robert Costello, cleared the courtroom of the jury and the press before admonishing the “MAGA-friendly lawyer” Monday afternoon in the ex-president’s criminal “hush money” trial.

Calling it a “brawl,” The Daily Beast set the scene: “After Costello, a former prosecutor, was reprimanded for delivering outbursts in the court whenever he was interrupted or told not to answer a question that had been objected to and sustained, Costello began to stare down the judge.”

Before the reprimand, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported: “Twice now the judge has sustained an objection and Costello answered regardless. Judge Merchan addresses him directly to not answer if he’s sustained the objection. ‘Jesus,’ Costello mutters after it happens again. ‘I’m sorry,’ the judge, visibly annoyed, says to him. ‘I’m sorry?'”

And then, the admonition.

READ MORE: ‘Wack Pack’: Questions Swirl Over ‘Trump Uniforms’ and Who’s Funding ‘Weird’ Trial Surrogates

“I’d like to discuss proper decorum in the courtroom,” Judge Merchan said, according to Collins. “If you don’t like my ruling, you don’t give me side eye and you don’t roll your eyes.”

Collins added: “Then in a raised voice, Merchan asks, ‘Are you staring me down right now?!'”

“The jury was NOT in the room for this,” Collins added. “Merchan sent them out, then admonished Costello, then when he was staring him down, Merchan became furious and cleared the courtroom. So the jury witnesses none of this. (And the press missed whatever was said in the interim.)”

Here’s how it went down, according to MSNBC host and legal contributor Katie Phang.

“Judge Merchan is ANGRY,” she observed, before reporting the dialogue:

“MERCHAN: ‘I’d like to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom’
MERCHAN: ‘If you don’t like my ruling, you don’t say ‘Jeez’ ‘
MERCHAN: You don’t say ‘strike it’ because I’m the only one who can strike it.
MERCHAN: ‘You don’t give me side eye and you don’t roll your eyes’
COSTELLO: I understand.”

Phang added, “When the media were allowed back in, Costello is seated at the witness stand looking decidedly chastened. Merchan looks calm.”

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports the judge didn’t calmly just clear the courtroom:

MSNBC legal contributor Lisa Rubin called it, “one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen in court.”

READ MORE: Law ‘Requires’ Alito and Thomas to Recuse Says Former Federal Prosecutor

And while CNN’s Collins noted the jury was not in the courtroom for exchange, Phang reports: “Although the dressing down of Costello took place outside of earshot of the jury, they witnessed firsthand Costello’s demeanor and petulance and heard firsthand his quips and remarks from the witness stand. Perhaps Costello just reinforced to the jury why Cohen didn’t want to keep Costello as his lawyer…Costello is pandering for an audience of one: Trump.”

MSNBC legal analyst Kristy Greenberg noted, “Michael Cohen was respectful. Bob Costello is acting like a clown. Jurors will notice and this will hurt Trump. Any concerns that jurors may have had about Cohen have now been overshadowed by Costello’s disrespect to the judge right in front of their faces.”

Lowell also reported after that the reprimand, “Costello is so red in the face he resembles a strawberry.”

See the social media post above or at this link.

 

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OPINION

‘Wack Pack’: Questions Swirl Over ‘Trump Uniforms’ and Who’s Funding ‘Weird’ Trial Surrogates

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Trump trial watchers are raising questions over the increasingly large number of elected Republicans and big-name allies showing up at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building to show support for the indicted ex-president, often giving angry and factually inaccurate speeches before the cameras, or standing behind the defendant in the background as he delivers his rants to reporters.

They are usually all men, and usually all dressed just as Donald Trump does: blue suit, white shirt, red tie.

Public Notice founder Aaron Rupar on Monday, observed, “they’re all in Trump costumes again. how cute.”

Questions about their “uniforms,” and more importantly, who is funding and organizing their travel, are being raised.

Media critic Jennifer Schulze, a former Chicago Sun-Times executive producer, WGN news director, and adjunct college professor of journalism, commented: “The trump uniforms angle is flying way too low beneath the mainstream news radar. The same is true for how this weird courtroom guest star show is being organized & financed.”

READ MORE: Why Alito’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag Story Just Fell Apart

And they are being called “uniforms.”

Filmmaker and podcaster Andy Ostroy declared, “I’m sorry, but all these #Trump capos showing up each day at the trial dressed exactly the same as The Godfather in blue suit and red tie is not only creepy AF but is a chilling foreshadowing of the fascist uniform-wearing government they’re jonesin’ to be a part of…”

Talk radio host Joan Esposito also asked who’s paying for these appearances: “Is the trump campaign paying for these surrogates to fly to & from nyc? If not, who is?”

Political commentator Bob Cesca remarked, “Trump’s fanboys are like the Wack Pack from the Stern show circa 1990.”

Monday’s star surrogates included South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, an election denier who had supported overturning the 2020 presidential election and signed onto what has been called a “false and frivolous” lawsuit attempting to overturn the results.

Also, Republican U.S. Reps. Eric Burlison, Andrew Clyde, Mary Miller, and Keith Self. And John Coale from the Trump-aligned America First Policy Institute, attorney Alan Dershowitz, Trump attorney and GOP attorney general candidate Will Scharf, convicted felon and Trump pardon recipient Bernie Kerik, Trump loyalist and former Trump administration official Kash Patel, and others.

READ MORE: Law ‘Requires’ Alito and Thomas to Recuse Says Former Federal Prosecutor

Op-ed columnist Terry Cowgill last week called them “manservants…standing at attention like automatons.”

“Scary and very very strange” was actress and activist Mia Farrow’s observation last week.

Vanity Fair’s Molly Jong-Fast, an MSNBC political analyst, last week asked, “Why did they all wear the same outfit?”

The Biden campaign was only too happy to post this video last week:

See the social media posts and videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

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News

Law ‘Requires’ Alito and Thomas to Recuse Says Former Federal Prosecutor

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U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have no choice but to observe federal law and recuse themselves from cases involving the 2020 presidential election, according to an attorney who served as a federal prosecutor for 30 years, while a noted constitutional law expert is warning Justice Alito “may be responsible for delaying” the Court’s decision on Donald Trump’s claims of absolute immunity.

Their remarks come as Americans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its decision on Donald Trump’s claim of absolute and total immunity from prosecution.

“The Supreme Court, as led by insurrection advocates Alito & Thomas, has caught & killed Trump’s prosecution for trying to overturn the 2020 election. The impartiality of Thomas & Alito ‘might reasonably be questioned’ so the federal law REQUIRES their recusal. Period. Full stop,” wrote Glenn Kirschner, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst.

Kirschner posted text from federal law, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 455, which reads: “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

READ MORE: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

The renewed interest in both far-right justices comes after Friday’s New York Times bombshell report that revealed a symbol of January 6 insurrectionists, the “Stop the Steal” flag, which is the U.S. Stars and Stripes flying upside down, was flown at Justice Alito’s home just days before President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

Justice Alito claimed his wife was responsible for flying the American flag in that manner, which is also used to indicate a situation of dire or extreme distress. He claimed she had done so after an altercation with a neighbor, who had a “F*** Trump” sign on their lawn that could be seen by children awaiting the school bus. But those claims seemed to fall apart after sleuths noted because of COVID schools were operating virtually, so there were no school buses running, and neighbors did not remember what allegedly was extreme neighborhood drama.

On Friday, Laurence Tribe, University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a constitutional law scholar and professor who has argued three dozen times before the Supreme Court, told CNN (video below) he believes Justice Alito must recuse.

“I do. I don’t think there’s any question about it. It’s in many ways, more serious than what we’ve seen with Justice Thomas. At least Justice Thomas could say that, ‘my wife Ginny has her own separate career. We don’t talk about the cases.’ You may believe that or you may not, but that’s very different from what’s going on with Justice Alito. He’s not saying, ‘My wife has her own separate career.’ He’s throwing her under the bus and blaming her for what is on his house, his flagpole. It’s his flag malfunction. It’s his upside down flag and everyone knows that the upside down the flag, which the United States Code says should be flown that way only in cases of absolute emergency as a kind of SOS, was in this case, a symbol of the claim that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.”

“It was the banner of the insurrectionists,” Tribe continued. “And I’m reminded of something that the late Justice Scalia said in the opinion he wrote in 1987, he said, ‘you cannot expect to ride with the cops if you cheer for the robbers.’ In this case, Justice Alito expects to preside over a decision about whether there wasn’t it direction and who was responsible for it. And whether Donald Trump who has been charged with involvement in trying to obstruct the operations of government and the transfer of power is immune, or if cases before the court, he’s obviously not qualified to sit in this case.”

READ MORE: ‘Mouths of Sauron’: Critics Blast ‘Mobster Tactic’ of Trump Surrogates ‘Violating’ Gag Order

Like Kirschner, Tribe pointed to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 455, saying, “28 US Code section 455 says that any federal judge or justice must – not may, but must – recuse him or herself in any case where either that justice or the justice’s spouse has any skin in the game. There’s no distance here between Mr. Alito and Mrs. Alito. It’s clear that whatever offensive sign was involved, that dispute between neighbors trivializes what’s involved here.”

On the Supreme Court’s pending decision on Trump’s immunity claims, Tribe added, Justice Alito “may be responsible for delaying it.”

“After all, the protocol within the court is the different justices dissenting and Alito is probably writing a dissent from a rejection of the extreme claim of absolute immunity. That didn’t seem to gain traction with the court. If a justice is dissenting, you wait till the dissent is done before announcing the case. So by delaying this immunity decision so long that a trial can’t occur before the election, the effect may be to give de facto immunity to the former president, who if he wins the election will pick an attorney general who will dismiss the case. So ultimate accountability is very much on the line.”

As for Justice Thomas, back in March of 2022, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer wrote: “Legal Scholars Are Shocked By Ginni Thomas’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Texts,” which also read: “Several experts say that Thomas’s husband, the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, must recuse himself from any case related to the 2020 election.”

And in June of 2022, former Bush 43 chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, also posting that federal law, wrote: “Justice Thomas’s participation in Dobbs means Ginni Thomas was not receiving payment from persons seeking reverse of Roe. Right?”

He was referring to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, coincidentally written by Justice Alito, which overturned five decades of civil rights law and removed abortion as a constitutionally-protected right.

“We have no idea who’s paying Ginni Thomas,” he continued, referring to Clarence Thomas’s spouse, who also alleged worked to overturn the 2020 election. “Justice Thomas refuses to recuse from any cases because of her. This conflict of interest is unworkable.”

Watch Professor Tribe below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Not Weighing in on That’: Republicans Refuse to Pull Support for Trump as Trial Nears End

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