As 2011 comes to a close, it is time yet again count down those special moments in which the religious right and other assorted members of the anti-gay industry made complete asses of themselves on video:
5. Brian Brown gets laughed at on Fox News
In 2011, a curious thing happened to the National Organization for Marriage. As the organization battled against marriage equality in several states — successfully in Maine and unsuccessfully in New York — NOM‘s leaders seemed be slowly backing away from giving interviews and having debates on news programs.
Now it could be that they were shying away from the press so they didn’t have to answer ever growing questions about NOM’s finances. But one could also point out the simple fact that as NOM’s people gave more interviews and took part in more debates, their argument became less credible.
NOM’s president, Brian Brown, emphasized this point. Now in his defense, Brown had a bad year which was accentuated by a picture of him crying when the state of New York passed a marriage equality law and a later video of him pushing a reporter out of a Newt Gingrich fundraiser.
But for my money, Brown’s less-than-finest hour came in August when he was debating the issue of marriage equality on Fox News and not only was his points shot down by the host of the program, John Stossel, but also by the audience. Now seriously, if you are a conservative who can’t get positive play on Fox News, you might as well quit your gig:
In all honesty though, it was Brown’s own fault. He repeated his talking points in a delivery so wooden that he looked less like a so-called defender of marriage and more like a third rate actor auditioning for the sequel to The Stepford Wives. The Stepford Bigots maybe?
4. GLSEN spanks the Family Research Council
In August, the Family Research Council attacked GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) in a video, claiming that the organization distributed an explicit sex guide to school children in 2005.
But not only was the claim false, it was debunked over a year before FRC made it. So GLSEN sent FRC a cease-and-desist letter from its lawyers saying (and allow me to paraphrase here):
“Look suckers! You are telling a straight up lie and if you don’t correct this, we are going to have so many lawyers up your behind that FRC will be funding GLSEN for years to come.”
Like any other bully when stood up to, FRC backed down hard, changing the video to the following below:
As you can see, it now tells folks to go to a new video, which is an edited version of the original video.
But while FRC was quick to send out a new version of lies, the organization ignored the Christian tenet of apologizing to those you have wronged. All of this was done silently and without any acknowledgement by FRC of what it had done to GLSEN.
3. Al Franken humiliates Focus on the Family
During a Congressional hearing in July, Senator Al Franken became the idol of many in the LGBTQ community when he publicly called out Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery for distorting a study in order to badmouth same-sex households:
Those on the right whined that Franken unfairly attacked Minnery, but who cares what they think. The big take away was that it was the first time that a member of the religious right was publicly caught and dressed down during a Congressional hearing for their common practice of cherry-picking and misrepresenting studies to demonize the LGBT community.
The only reason why this video doesn’t rank higher is because it was wasn’t Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council who was dressed down. He is long due for the numerous times he has cherry-picked studies.
2. Maggie Gallagher‘s Thanksgiving insult
In September, Maggie Gallagher stepped down as chairwoman of NOM. She claimed that she wanted to devote time to other projects. I personally think it was because she became such a polarizing figure whose public persona actually worked against her argument.
Since that time, Gallagher kept a pretty much low profile. That is until November when she pushed the following video tips on supposedly how to “handle the same-sex debate at Thanksgiving.”
The video was an embarrassment, as you can see by the number of likes compared to dislikes.
To the LGBTQ community and our allies, the outright lying tone Gallagher took in it (claiming that those on her side of the argument wasn’t interested in “shaming” those who disagreed with them) reminded us why she was polarizing.
And I imagine those who stood on Gallagher’s side of the marriage equality argument rolled their eyes and wondered just why did she feel the need to grab the spotlight.
Now, I got into a little trouble concerning the video when I made the following statement:
To say that Gallagher’s video wasn’t popular would be an understatement. To say that she created the youtube version of Battlefield Earth and Plan 9 from Outer Space (two motion pictures renowned for how bad they were) would be more to the point.
Some folks have said that her delivery wasn’t exactly comforting. Also, Gallagher simply didn’t say anything we haven’t heard before. If her aim was to tug at hearts, then my guess is that she used how the Snow White’s wicked stepmother wanted to tug at her heart as a model.
And forgive for saying so because I am certainly not trying to rag on Gallagher’s looks but the way her hair would bob in her face when she made what she thought were emphatic points totally distracted from her message. All the while Gallagher was talking, I kept thinking about that scene in the motion picture Valley of the Dolls when actress Patty Duke was singing at a telethon and her dancing caused her necklace to bob and weave as if it took a life of its own.
To reiterate, I wasn’t attacking Gallagher’s physical appearance, only the campy quality of the video.
To tell the truth, I rather liked Gallagher’s appearance. Her hair was on point, the pearls were fierce, and girlfriend was rocking that faux Chanel suit. However, from what I hear in regards to her salary (and not just with NOM but also with past groups), I doubt that the suit was fake.
This is NOM’s second video on the countdown. When both videos are combined, they make a point about the organization:
Brown’s video demonstrates why NOM will lose in the end — the points he made about marriage are false, coming from a boardroom rather than any place of truth. Gallagher’s video reveals why the organization is having success in some places even though its argument is below weak.
Someone is funding NOM, majorly. We don’t know yet. But sooner or later, the truth will come out.
1. Poor Rick Perry
Maggie Gallagher’s Thanksgiving monstrosity would have been number one if it weren’t for Rick Perry.
Poor Rick Perry. At one time, the long-time Texas Governor was seen as the conservative savior, i.e the one who could defeat Obama in 2012. However after a series of gaffes, Perry was seen as less of a political genius and more of a beneficiary of Texas complacency.
Then came the following video in which Perry tried to regain his footing by pulling the “prayer in schools” and anti-gay cards at the same time:
The sad thing is that a while back, an ad like this would have probably gone over big. But unfortunately for Perry, the ad did the opposite.
This video didn’t just yell “desperate” — it screamed it with the volume of a virgin in the middle of his first orgasmic experience. And I won’t even mention his Brokeback Mountain jacket.
At this point, it would be just plain cruel.