July 20, 2010
By Eden James
Wow. How is Brian Brown going to spin this one?
Check out this NOM picture from their rally in Trenton. Look familiar? Yep, it’s almost a carbon copy of the first four events on NOM’s “Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman” tour. By Arisha’s hand-count, 48 NOM supporters showed up (including numerous NOM staffers, of course):
Now look what Garden State Equality did at the same time today, turning out 158 supporters (Arisha’s hand-count; pictures at this link) to a town hall in Trenton nearby.
So, is NOM a paper tiger? It’s been debated before. And, after NOM’s embarrassing turnout in Augusta, Manchester, Albany and Providence — in which equality supporters outnumbered NOM supporters — the debate may start raging again.
One thing is for sure. Brian Brown will hype the numbers to the press, as Jeremy Hooper cross-posted on this blog the other day. We’ll see what the media reports and cross-check it with our hand-count.
This JUST in from our team on the ground in Trenton, led by Arisha along with Anthony Ash and Jethro Rothe-Kushel:
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
The NOM rally in Trenton was so under-attended and so uneventful that Brian Brown decided to focus on the events in Rhode Island a few days prior during his opening remarks to the crowd.
“As we saw in Providence, some wish to silence us,” Brown began. “What we saw in Providence was something I’ve never seen before – protestors storming the stage, attempting to shout us down.”
“We’re not asking you to sign up, we’re asking you to stand up,” continued Brown.
A member of NOM’s staff passed out handmade signs saying “one man, one woman” to a youth church group that made up the bulk of the rally’s attendees (that she later took back). There were no chants, no loud cheers – just the sound of the few speakers that Brian Brown assembled giving all of the usual sound bytes. Compared to Providence, the atmosphere was very subdued, although there was a strong media presence (many of whom were at the Garden State Equality townhall).
Most random NOM quote of the day:
welfaregovernment programs are leading people away from marriage,” stated one speaker.
Favorite NOM supporter interaction of the day:
Today, I made a new NOM tour friend. Lewis is his name (see picture to the right). Lewis has been given the unenviable task of following us around while we interview NOM supporters (UPDATE/NOTE: in the comments, there is speculation that “Lewis” is Louis Marinelli, a blogger who has been covering the tour for NOM). He then debriefs them on our “agenda.” ‘
After 40 awkward minutes, I finally walked over to him and introduced myself. We had the following exchange:
Me: I might as well introduce myself, my name is Arisha.
M: The NOM Tour Tracker.
L: NOM Tour Tracker, what’s that?
M: [I smirked] You know who we are . . .
L: [He smiled] You’re right, I read you every day, but where’s Danny Segura and – what’s his name – Robert?
M: They’re not here anymore.
M: Because it’s my turn. . .
L: I guess I’ll see you in Annapolis?
M: You sure will.
Everyone say hi to Lewis. He’s reading the Tour Tracker.
Check back with us soon. We’re working to upload a few videos of NOM supporters, including a couple of leather-clad members of the Knights of Columbus and the ex-gay leader of PFOX who secured the permits for this afternoon’s NOM event.
More pictures, as uploaded by Andy Kelley, our New Media Organizer:
NOM supporter holding anti-gay marriage sign:
NOM supporter holding sign reading “Same-sex marriage is the opposite of marriage”:
“Ex-gay” NOM supporter:
UPDATE: The Knights of Columbus in Trenton show up, helping double NOM attendance in their stand against marriage equality (NOM photo from their Flickr account):
UPDATE: Jeremy Hooper over at Good As You has a post going as well that provides more info on the latest #NOMturnoutFAIL, including this gem. Check out what Brian Brown predicted today:
**This comes from Brian Brown’s latest e-blast
“An even bigger crowd” than past stops? Eh, I wanted a pony when I was a child. Wishes don’t always come true.
UPDATE: For those on Twitter, please retweet the following (just in from Andy, our New Media Organizer):
RT @EqualityOnTrial #NOMTour turnout FAIL in New Jersey (again): How will Brian Brown spin this one? http://bit.ly/d0aPf3 #lgbt
And remember to share the NOMTourTracker.com URL as well, in case you tell others about our site.
UPDATE: A short video clip of the #NOMturnoutFAIL direct from our team in Trenton:
UPDATE: And here it is, a rough cut of the Brian Brown interview conducted by a member of our NOM Tour Tracker team on the ground in Trenton. And, yep, Brown is spinning like a top.
On the #NOMturnoutFAIL: “We’re happy with the response. We’re not going to get into numbers.” (He’s spinning hard and the nonverbal communication says it all; Watch the video)
On the iStock photo tour bus scandal: “It’s just normal if you have a bus to have pictures of families on it… Every major group does the same thing.”
Of course, Brian still hasn’t answered the question about whether the families represented on his bus actually agree with his discriminatory activism against marriage equality. We’ll let you know when he does.
Let me repeat the offer we made to Brian today. He’s welcome to post here anytime he wants and take questions from our Trackers.
(NOTE: We’ll have a longer New Jersey overview that will include this video as well as other video up at some point)
Keep refreshing this page as we bring you more, including video interviews. More to come…