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NOM Exposed is a campaign-style operation that tracks and challenges the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage as it tries to influence elections and legislative campaigns across the country.

Happening now: NOM Tour lands in New Jersey, Garden State Equality responds

July 20, 2010

By Eden James

Get ready for a big day in New Jersey.

Right now, our team is on the ground in Trenton for the next tour stop on NOM’s “Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman” tour. Garden State Equality has organized a town hall right now “featuring same-sex couples and their children talking about the effect being denied marriage equality has on them.”

Their press release is below, including a new video they launched today timed to coincide with the town hall meeting and NOM’s tour stop. Check it out below.

We’ll be updating this Garden State Equality town-hall meeting thread as events develop and then starting a NOM tour event thread as soon as possible thereafter, including pictures, etc.

Anti-marriage equality legislators admit the failure of New Jersey’s
civil union law. Watch now at

Garden State Equality releases the video today as the anti-equality “National
Organization for Marriage” stops at the State House in Trenton on its national tour

To counter our opponents, Garden State Equality holds a town meeting at
11:30 am today, Tuesday, in Committee Room 6 of the State House Annex

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Contact: Steven Goldstein

In a state where the Governor and several conservative activists have endorsed the civil union law as a way to avoid marriage equality – saying the civil union law already provides equality to New Jersey’s same-sex couples – Garden State Equality has just released a damning two-and-half-minute video in which state Senators who voted against marriage equality confess that the civil union law has failed.

The video, titled “Confessions,” is viewable now at:

“Activists who oppose marriage equality, and even the Christie Administration, defend the civil union law by saying it works. But their own champions in the state legislature say otherwise,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality. “Now we’ve put those confessions on tape for all the world to see. This is just a fraction of what Senators who oppose marriage equality confessed about the civil union law’s failure when they voted against marriage equality months ago.”

Garden State Equality released the video today, when the anti-LGBT “National Organization for Marriage” holds a rally against marriage equality at the State House in Trenton, part of its national anti-equality tour.

To further counter the “National Organization for Marriage” rally, Garden State Equality is holding a town meeting at the State House today at 11:30 am, in Committee Room 6 of the State House Annex, featuring same-sex couples and their children talking about the effect being denied marriage equality has on them.

Garden State Equality’s town meeting is part of a pro-equality tour across the United States organized by Freedom to Marry, our national counterpart.

The moderator of Garden State Equality’s town meeting will be Mary Jean Weston, MSW, LCSW, assistant executive director of the National Association of Social Workers-New Jersey. Also at the town meeting will be Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, and Maritza Braswell, attorney at McCarter & English, New Jersey’s largest law firm. Lambda Legal is currently seeking marriage equality in a lawsuit before the New Jersey Supreme Court. McCarter & English prepared Garden State Equality’s amicus brief in the lawsuit – a brief focusing on the devastating psychological impact the deprivation of marriage equality has on children with same-sex parents and on LGBT children themselves.

In fact, the families at Garden State Equality’s town meeting today are real families from across New Jersey experiencing real pain. In contrast, the families featured in photos on the side of the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-equality tour bus are actors in stock photos available for purchase on line, as revealed by Jeremy Hooper of the blog Good As You. See Hooper’s investigation and photographic proof at

Stay tuned to this thread for more updates…

UPDATE 12:48 PM EST: This just in from Courage staffer Arisha Michelle Hatch, on the ground in Trenton:

Nearly 200 (estimate; hand-count coming soon) Marriage equality supporters (a hand-count confirmed 158 attendees) gathered for a Townhall at the New Jersey State House in Trenton on Tuesday. The forum, led by Garden State Equality was not only professionally executed, but also served as a stunning contrast to the last tour stop in Rhode Island.

Surrounded by a throng of reporters, same-sex couples and their children shared their stories -– their own personal Testimonies — as to why marriage is important to their families.

“Words mean a great deal to me,” commented one woman, a speech pathologist, who is also one of the original plaintiff’s from the New Jersey marriage cases. “And because of that the word marriage means a great deal to me.”

Under direction from Garden State Equality, marriage supporters walked past the NOM rally into an annex building, passing by the small NOM rally attended by 48 people (that’s a hand-count and it’s probably 28 if you subtract NOM staff).

About 5 Garden State Equality volunteers stood 50 feet from the rally in an effort to defuse any potential confrontations between equality supporters and NOM supporters. As of 12:35 pm EST we have seen no major confrontations or incidents.

More to come on the NOM rally, including how Brian Brown responded when one reporter asked him about the stock images used on his bus and why those “pesky” Rhode Island activists are still on his mind.

Pictures in from the GSE town hall! More to come…





UPDATE: State House Steps has video coverage of both events, just posted by “Lesbians Love Boies” in the comments to the NOM event thread postly shortly after this one.

This video includes an interview with Brian Brown. Our team also got an interview with Brown. And, boy, it’s a good one. We’ll post it to the NOM event thread as soon as possible.

Keep refreshing this page as we bring you more, including video interviews. More to come…