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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.

New NOM tour videos: We report, you decide. Loving families or lunatic fringe?

July 20, 2010

By Eden James

If week one of NOM’s “Summer for Marriage” tour is any indication of what’s to come over the next four weeks, buckle your seatbelts.

From Maine and New Hampshire to New York and Rhode Island our intrepid staffers have been capturing the sights and sounds of the fight for marriage equality — not just at NOM’s rallies, but at counter-protests and interviews with individuals and families on both sides of the debate at each stop.

The footage speaks for itself, though we apologize that the audio quality on some of our early videos is poor — we were still working out some kinks on the first leg of the tour.

First stop, Maine.

In Augusta, Danny Segura caught up with Erin, James, Janelle, and Anna, to learn about why their family came out to the counter press-conference at the first stop on NOM’s tour. And within seconds, he got his answer:

”It’s important for our family to have the same legal rights that any other family would have.”

Our team’s next stop was the NOM Rally in Augusta.

We got to talk with an attendee whose hand-made sign was even highlighted in the local press. The conversation started with …“The homosexual lifestyle is a lie basically, because it comes with disease, it comes with human failure,” and pretty much went downhill from there.

In New Hampshire, Danny and Robert Oliver met a couple of recent NOM recruits that were encouraged to attend by their local church. Hallelujah, though the man’s initial argument against marriage equality (“if they want to do that, that’s fine…but do they have to make a law?”) comes across as a re-run of Prop 8 trial Defense Attorney Charles Cooper telling Judge Vaughn Walker during his closing that “I don’t have any evidence.”

So it goes on the NOM Tour:

In Albany, New York, our team caught up with Noreen and Roy — the proud parents of five sons, three of whom are gay. Their story is a powerful one. Check it out:

Danny asked both Noreen and Roy to sum up their feelings in a sentence, and considering what NOM has been spewing across the Northeast this past week, their comments are worth repeating once more.

Noreen: “By accepting all people, I certainly have more people to love… and that makes my life better.”

Roy: “People need to know we are here to love one another, not to hate one another and certainly not to fear one another.”

To anyone wondering which side is peddling hate, fear and intolerance on this tour, the contrast we have seen thus far leaves little doubt.

NOM President Brian Brown has said the NOM Tour will “counteract the media blackout,” on NOM’s iStockphoto imagery and long since debunked talking points. If this was really NOM’s cause, you’d think they would have joined the nearly 140,000 Americans who signed petitions from the Courage Campaign calling for the historic Prop 8 federal trial to be televised.

We want Brian Brown to know that here at the NOM Tour Tracker, there will be no media blackout. This site, like Testimony: Equality on Trial, is for anyone who supports loving American families and equality under the law.

And we’d welcome anyone on either side of this debate who is willing to come forward, tell their story, and answer a few of our questions.

Even you, Brian.

In the meantime, we hope NOM Tour Tracker readers will let us know what you think of the videos, and if you can, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help us keep our team on the road documenting these events and the people that are showing up to them, on both sides.

Today the NOM tour is arriving in New Jersey for the next event. More to come soon…