“Judge Bus” kickoff turns into #NOMturnoutFAIL embarrassment in Iowa: Equality supporters 98, NOM 42
October 25, 2010
Here is Arisha’s first report from NOM’s first stops in Des Moines, Winterset and Atlantic, Iowa — as well as the counter-rally held by equality supporters that doubled NOM’s turnout at their pathetically-attended kickoff event in Des Moines. Check out her intro post on the tour here. – Eden
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
This morning on the steps of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, 98 equality supporters and several media outlets assembled to kickoff the Homegrown Justice Tour, a counter-tour organizing events in cities across Iowa to greet the Judge Bus.
Equality supporters behind the podium:
Equality supporters and media in front of the podium:
Senator Tom Harkin with equality supporters:
Meanwhile, just below the steps, 42 NOM supporters joined the Judge Bus and heard from a number of speakers including two “old friends” Brian Brown and Tamara Scott from Concerned Women for America.
Here is Congressman Steve King speaking in front of the “podium” (earlier, we posted a short video from his speech):
And here’s what Steve King and NOM’s Brian Brown were looking at, as they spoke:
“We in the heartland have been taken hostage,” explained Scott who later described Iowa justices as “black robed bandits.”
“Mom to mom, parent to parent I want you to remember three things: No, no, no.”
“The whole country [is watching to see]…if the people of Iowa will stand up and say ‘enough is enough,” said Brown.
We also had the privilege to speak to several interesting NOM supporters, including one man who suggested that if same-sex marriage is allowed people might try to marry goats or other inanimate objects.
“I love my camera, should I be able to marry it?”
In Winterset, NOM drew a crowd of 14 people (including one family with seven children). Here’s a shot from that “rally” — and yes, that’s Brian Brown joining the crowd towards the back to make it look, er, larger:
We had the opportunity to talk to one of those supporters who repeatedly referred to same-sex marriage as “sodomy-marriage” and expressed concerns that legalization would lead to the “desecration” of the institution, as well as, the proliferation of AIDS.
Next, the Judge Bus made a quick stop in Atlantic – so quick, in fact, that we arrived on the scene several minutes after the Judge Bus had already left (we left about 20 minutes after the bus because we stayed behind to interview Brian Brown, who has opted travel in a rental car behind the Judge Bus.)
We arrived in Atlantic just in time to catch a heated exchange between equality supporters and one NOM representative who stayed behind to talk with the counter-protestors as the Judge Bus left to make it’s way to it’s next stop in Red Oak.
On a personal note, day 1 of this tour has already been extremely stressful for me from a time-perspective. There are so many great interviews to be had with NOM’s fringe supporters that it’s been difficult to keep up with the Judge Bus’ pace. I’m lucky to be joined on this tour by Rachel Johnson, a local LGBT activist who has stepped in for Anthony and Phyllis. She’s been amazing as we drive through the unpaved country roads in an attempt to catchup with the Judge Bus. We’ll make sure she gets a proper introduction the the P8TT community before the week is done.
More to come…