I will admit that before NOM's March for Straight Marriage yesterday, I was a little worried that it could do harm to our cause. I was worried that it might begin to roll back public opinion, possibly leading to a reluctance among judges to invalidate marriage discrimination laws.
But the rally has not only invalidated my worries, it's actually made me more confident of winning than ever before.
I went to MarriageMarch.com just before 11, intending to watch the speakers at the rally. The thing I was looking out for most was an overtly homophobic statement by a speaker. It fortunately didn't come, although considering how they were speaking, Ruben Diaz and Bill Owens must have had at least a dozen cans of Red Bull each before the rally.
I noticed that there was only one camera, and it was always fixed on the speaker, and never on the audience. That may be explained by the fact that the audience never erupted in rapturous cheering and applause. The most they could ever muster was a half-hearted cheer, and a weak waving of their pink and blue flags. They didn't seem too thrilled or enthused.
I think it was at about 11:30 when not even Brian Brown could remain in denial of this. He took the podium.
"I think we need a chant. You guys are getting a little down", he said. "ONE MAN! ONE WOMAN!"
"One man, one woman," the crowd murmured back.
Brian kept on trying, but in vain. I've never seen someone look so hopelessly out of place.
When Ruben Diaz spoke, he and his translator were ready to explode out of the vitriolic rage that comes from losing endlessly. He said that when prayer was taken out of public schools, Satan moved in.
When Bill Owens spoke, he told business owners who support marriage discrimination to discriminate against LGBT people in their services, and called for the movement to "go to jail".
I watched for about an hour-and-a-half, until I didn't have the energy or concentration to keep going. The speakers were repetitive, unoriginal, and said nothing I haven't heard before. It did not seem to be the historic event NOM trumped it up as.
Eventually, photos began to roll in of the audience, and I began to sense that I wasn't the only one who got bored. Here's NOM's grassroots supporters:
But I don't think that should be the official number. From The Washington Times:
Hundreds march in defense of traditional marriageYou read that right. Hundreds. Not even a single thousand, let alone two thousand.
Keep in mind, The Washington Times was the official media sponsor of the March. Not even the March's official sponsor can bring itself to claim that there were a thousand people there.
NOM has been building this up for months. Their first announcement of the rally was on the 14th of March. That means that they've had three months and five days to build this.
And they tried. From March 18:
This year, potentially thousands of marriage supporters from all over the country will have the chance to meet with their federal Senators and Representatives to tell them about the importance of defending marriage, religious liberty and the rule of law.From March 20:
[T]he essential purpose behind the March for Marriage is to send a clear and vital message to marriage advocates nationwide[.]From April 8:
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is organizing a "March for Marriage" in the nation's capital on June 19th of this year. Last year, the first ever "March for Marriage" drew several thousands to the National Mall to express support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Event organizers say this year's event is expected to be even larger and more successful.From April 9:
The March for Marriage is our way of showing that there still exists in this country deep and wide support for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
[W]e're not going away, and neither is the truth about marriage!From April 11:
Together, let's show the bullies and thugs who want to censor our pro-marriage views that your voice is not alone — that it is, in fact, many millions strong — and that it simply will not be silenced.From April 15:
[W]e can make our voices heard with this summer's March for Marriage on June 19th. We are working hard to make sure we bring as many people to the Capitol as possible, to show that a groundswell of support still exists in our country for the values you and I believe in.From April 17:
[Y]ou and I have to stand up and shout from the rooftops: I will not be intimidated. I will not be silenced. Marriage is beautiful and good and I will defend it!From April 22:
We're going "all in" on this March because it's vitally important that we rally the American people in defense of marriage at a time when it's at a tipping point — one that we could tip in our favor as the Supreme Court and decision makers across the nation consider the future of marriage.From April 29:
The Supreme Court will likely take up the definition of marriage again next year as many of the cases throughout the country make their way through the legal system. And we must use this precious gift of time to let the justices on the Court — as well as the politicians, media elites and voting citizens — know that America still stands for marriage!From April 30:
We have a chance to make our case that America still believes in marriage[.]From May 20:
It's critical that we gather as many marriage supporters as we can in order to make a powerful statement to the political, media and cultural elites in our society: marriage is important because every child deserves a mom and a dad!From May 22:
The March for Marriage will bring thousands of marriage champions to the Nation's capital with the strong and united message that America believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and every child deserves a mom and a dad.From May 26:
We need to get the word out to as many people as possible and bring thousands upon thousands of marriage supporters to our nation's capitol.From May 29:
We need to send the strongest message possible to the political, academic, and media elites of our great nation: marriage is between one man and one woman because children deserve a mom and a dad!From May 30:
We’re in a historic battle, a fight for one of the great truths of civilization[.]From June 2:
On June 19th, the nation will be watching: the media, the politicians, the judges, and—watmost importantly—tens of millions of young Americans, whose generation is looking for guidance before taking their turn in leading our great nation.From June 4:
All of these will be watching—and so, we need to show up. We need to show that marriage is defended, and will continue to be defended... vigorously and with passion, in this generation and the next.
The truth about marriage must be defended publicly because it is a sacred truth and a public good. And THAT is exactly why we are marching.
From June 5:
There are still millions of Americans who believe in marriage as the union of a man and a woman and they want their voices to be respected and heard.And:
June 19th will be an amazing day as thousands of pro-marriage champions march in our nation's capital declaring that marriage is a unique and critical institution because children deserve both a mother and a father.From June 6:
We must make a powerful statement RIGHT NOW to the Court, politicians and the cultural elites that the American people stand for marriage as the union of one man and one woman because children deserve both a mom and a dad!From June 7:
The battle for marriage in the United States is just beginning and the March for Marriage on June 19th will be a clarion call to the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, as well as the mainstream media, that America stands for marriage as the union of one man and one woman.From June 8:
And that exactly is what we are going to do on June 19th in Washington, D.C. during the 2nd Annual March for Marriage. This critical event will bring thousands of marriage champions to the nation's capital with a clear and decisive message for the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, and the media — Marriage is the Union of One Man and One Woman and Children Deserve Both a Mother and A Father. The bigger the March, the clearer the signal... to the courts, the media and the country... that marriage is worth defending! We are doing everything in our power to make it HUGE!From June 11:
[T]he bigger the crowd, the bigger the message to the Courts, the Congress, and the nation that Americans still stand for marriage as the union of one man and one woman.And:
In 8 days thousands of marriage supporters from around the country will descend on our nation's capital and loudly proclaim that marriage matters because children deserve both a mother and a father. But it won't be just the marchers carrying this important message.From June 13:
On June 19th, thousands of Americans from all across the country will rally in and take to the streets of our nation's capital with the simple and beautiful message: marriage between one man and one woman is unique and critical for our society because children deserve the love and care of both a mother and a father.From June 16:
As Americans from all across the country rally and march, they will be demonstrating support of the sacred and unique truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and that every child deserves a mother and a father.From June 17:
Will you be joining us for this momentous event? We certainly hope so as the bigger the crowd, the clearer the message to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Congress, the media, and the rest of America.
This petition and the signatures we gather will be an important statement, along with the March itself, to our leaders in Washington and to the mainstream media that Americans still clearly stand for marriage.From June 18:
I have been thrilled by the response from so many of you over the past several months and look forward to marching with thousands of marriage supporters like yourself from all across the country, rallying in Washington to protect this sacred and critical institution.For over three months, they raised money. For over three months, they trumpeted the march incessantly. For over three months, they secured high-profile speakers. For over three months, they collaborated with churches to get as many marchers as possible. For over three months, they organized buses to get everyone to the rally.
Our message is simple, clear, and positive: marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and it should be protected because children deserve both a mother and a father.
And they couldn't even get a thousand people.
If things look bad now, they're about to get even worse for NOM. On Wednesday, the Human Rights Campaign released the findings of a poll it commissioned Republican pollster Alex Lundry to conduct. The poll was of 1200 registered voters. The findings are as follows:
56% of Americans support marriage equality.
37% of Americans oppose it.
44% of Americans strongly support it (12% support it, but not strongly).
Only 28% of Americans strongly oppose it (9% oppose it, but not strongly).
3% would protest a Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide.
Almost 40% of those opposed are unwilling to pay anything to stop it.
74% of Americans say it won't affect them. Most of the ones who say it will say it will be a positive effect.
NOM put absolutely everything they had into this rally, and it turned out to be an embarrassment. The finish line is now closer than ever.