The Great NOM Photo "Controversy"


My Friends,

The Great NOM Photo Controversy

Rachel Maddow and her friends on the left are all atwitter about a photo collage created for the website that NOM is sponsoring with allies in New Hampshire who are working with us to repeal same-sex marriage there.

You may recall that marriage was redefined in New Hampshire in 2009 after Tim Gill funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into the pockets of Democratic legislators and Governor John Lynch. Lynch ran for office as a traditional marriage supporter, but he betrayed the people of New Hampshire when he agreed to sign the same-sex marriage legislation into law.

NOM is committed to overturning that terrible legislative decision, and the people of New Hampshire are with us. Last year, voters in dozens of towns passed referenda demanding their right to vote on the definition of marriage. The referendum measures passed overwhelmingly (the average vote was 63% Yes to 37% No). Not a single town that considered the issue defeated it. Then a year ago, the voters threw out the Democrats who had voted to redefine marriage and replaced them with an overwhelming pro-marriage majority!

It's no accident that Maddow and her allies in the gay activist community chose Tuesday to issue their breathless "expose" about NOM's photo "controversy"—on Tuesday the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly to repeal same-sex marriage! Neither Maddow nor her friends at the Human Rights Campaign can defend imposing same-sex marriage on New Hampshire with no vote of the people. So they issue "reports" and press releases criticizing NOM over a photo collage! They object to us using a photo of a crowd scene, which symbolizes the tens of thousands of New Hampshire voters who are part of our effort. They're upset that the photo was not taken at a NOM rally. Seriously?! NOM using a common use photo in the public domain is considered a great scandal, yet they can redefine marriage—the most important social institution of society against the wishes of New Hampshire voters—and nobody is supposed to object? It's as if the institution of marriage gets mugged, and they complain about speeding in the neighborhood when someone rushes it to the hospital!

Let's teach Rachel Maddow and her pals at the HRC what's really important in this debate in New Hampshire. We've swapped out photos on the site to avoid the distraction, now it's time to focus on the real controversy.

Join with us to restore the law to what it was before Tim Gill and John Lynch hijacked it following hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions.

Call your legislators and ask them to support HB437 to restore marriage as the union of one man and one woman and reinstate civil unions for gay couples. And please make a contribution of $43.70 to help us win this battle. This is going to be a tough fight. Maddow and her uber-liberal allies can be expected to try every dirty trick in the book to defeat us because they know that if we are successful, it will be a tremendous setback for them. But by supporting HB 437 and making a contribution of $43.70 (or whatever you can afford), you'll be showing the left that we are going to win!


Thank you for your support!


Brian Brown

Brian Brown

Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage


  1. Ash
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The photo "controversy" was a dud story if there ever was one. When I finally looked at Maddow's video (after hearing a number of howls about the picture), I was thinking, "Is this what you guys are screaming about?"

    "Seriously?!" is definitely the right expression, Brian.

  2. QueerNE
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Rachel addresses within the story what the actual source of the picture was, which was nothing to do with NOM; it was a rally for Obama. She spoke of how really misleading this was; to make people think that you had that many supporters gathered at your side, when in fact you didn't. It wasn't a distraction tactic at all.

  3. Mike
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The so-called reinvention of marriage is a dud story.

    Marriage has been in a state of constant reinvention through every human society for thousands of years. Releasing the restrictions on women as chattels, on prevention of interracial marriage have all been for the good. In all those countries where same-sex marriage has been approved (which incidentally seem to be doing much better economically than the USA in most cases), then there have been associated benefits.

    It's nothing to do with being uber-liebral as you put it. David Cameron, the conservative prime minster of Great Britain recently said:"Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative."

  4. Patrick Hogan
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    If the people of New Hampshire are with you, why do the photos on your website *still* not feature an event in New Hampshire? Why do polls in NH show 2-1 support for keeping the law as it is?

    Why did you feel obliged/entitled to alter a photo from an event which was held to support President Obama -- who (and whose suppporters) opposes most of your goals? Wouldn't a photo from one of your bus tours have been more relevant -- and more appropriate?

    The problem wasn't that you used a public domain photo -- it's that you did so to intentionally deceive, to create an illusion of support where there was none. People are catching on to your games.

    Oh -- and if marriage equality is such a "terrible legislative decision", can you point to a single actual harm that resulted? I'm not talking about clerks who aren't allowed to impose a religious test on their clients -- I'm talking actual, substantial harm.

  5. TC Matthews
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    People are people. I don't see an issue, though it is a somewhat typical attack from people who are bent on portraying inevitability at every turn. They don't have the support of the people and they know it.

  6. L. Marie
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    is that kind of like the opposition getting on NOMBLOG and posting comments under two, three, five names?

    Three cheers for inevitability!

    Sorry guys.

  7. aanmc
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    actually TC, we do have the support. what we don't have is the money to scare people about gay supposedly corrupting children. and btw the subject of this post is NOM stealing photos. Please try not to distract from it.

  8. amcew
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    actually TC, we do have the support. what we don't have is the money to scare people about gay supposedly corrupting children. and btw the subject of this post is NOM stealing photos. Please try not to distract from it.

  9. EvolvedAlready
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Keep humming that tune TC & Marie...those ears gotta hurt after having your fingers in them all the time!

  10. L. Marie
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Stealing? Where?

    What do you not get about "Public Domain"?

  11. L. Marie
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    oh, please don't distract from this non-story with the real story. We don't have public support so we co-opt legislatures and corrupt judiciaries with platitudes and bribes while we work to get control of your munchkins through the school system like we just did in California-- MANDATING gay education for kids as young as kindergarten. No opt out. Mandatory.

    What is the topic again?

  12. Andrew
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    LOL "amcew" and "aanmc"... ok that was seriously funny.

  13. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    "what we don't have is the money"

    Actually, "amcew" and "aanmc," that's ALL you have.

    That and the ability to make up a different name each time you comment.

  14. Margaret Gallagher
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    The top ten gay rights organization have total budgets around $200 million.

    HRC, last time I checked, alone has a budget of $40 million.

    In Maine gay marriage supporters outspent marriage supporters 2-1.

    The claim you lack money is well, like a lot of other claims!

  15. JohnnyC
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Why is NOM supporting LEGISLATIVE action on this? Isn't NOM's constant refrain to "let the people vote"? Why are the Republicans in the NH legislature unwilling to "let the people vote"? Why isn't NOM showing any interest in "letting the people vote" on this issue?

  16. Spunky
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    @L. Marie
    @Brian Brown

    According to Advocate (, the photos used in the collage are not in the public domain.

    To quote them: "Of course, the photo in question isn't in the "public domain," as Brown contends. In fact, bloggers discovered that the two other photos used in the NOM "collage" (that's what Brown is calling it) were from pro-gay photographers keeping tabs on the group. The photographers had posted their pictures on Flickr under a license that requires them to be credited if used (and they weren't credited)."

  17. JohnnyC
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    "In Maine gay marriage supporters outspent marriage supporters 2-1."

    Of course they complied with campaign finance laws and YOU didn't!

  18. Equal2You
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    If the mods would stop banning us, we wouldn't have to keep using different names. I just wish NOM believed in the whole 'free speech' thing. Almost like they are worried about the truth getting out to their target audience.

  19. Andrew
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    "If the mods would stop banning us, we wouldn't have to keep using different names."

    LOL Equal. If only it were true, then we wouldn't have to listen to your constant whining.

  20. Emily
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    WE have the money, huh?

    I bet if you put together the budgets for the top ten Conservative Christian organizations in American it would total a lot more than $200 million. Focus on the Family's budget this year was $138 million ALONE. And that was AFTER they cut it.

    You need to put about 5 gay organizations together to get close to that amount. HRC is the biggest, and their budget (< 1/3 of FOTF's) probably isn't going to get much bigger.

    Oh, but gay organizations do have one thing on NOM - they at least disclose their financial records. Cuz it's the law when you're a non-profit.


    On the topic of the picture - if you guys have so much grassroot support, why did you have to use an Obama rally picture? Why can't you use one from a rally you've held in NH?

    Jeez, if you were going to steal a picture, why didn't you at least take one from Perry's Prayer Rally or some other conservative Christian event?? It just absolutely makes no sense.

  21. Little man
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    If the one-of-a-kind photo wasn't Public Domain, then why isn't NOM being sued by the author? Instead, there all this silly chatter. Where's the watermark with the copyright of the photo? Why not use a photo from a rally for Obama? That would be fun! Same-sex marriage advocates. you don't have a better argument than a claim about intended deception? Photos are properly used this way all the time over the Internet. Check with a lawyer. Oh, can't afford one?

  22. Vicki
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    LIttle man,

    Why not use this photo?

    I'm a marriage supporter, but I am a Christian and stealing violates the ten commandments.

  23. Little man
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Vicki: What is 'stealing', per the Internet? When your computer accesses a web page on the internet, do you know that your computer is storing a copy of each and every picture, advertisement image, logo, trade mark on your computer's Hard Drive? Your computer is actually 'stealing' each 'graphics file' if by stealing you mean making a copy of images. Copyright law has certain fair-use provisions. It is not stealing, in the full meaning of the word. It is up to the person who hold the copyright to enforce his reserved rights. But that is not the case, here.

  24. Louis E.
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Mike,Cameron fails to understand that vows to do things that are wrong (especially as wrong as remaining in a same-sex sexual relationship) are wrong and ought not to be respected.
    Patrick Hogan,every same-sex sexual relationship causes actual,substantial harm to those in it and those exposed to it.

  25. Spunky
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    @ Little Man

    All they're asking is for NOM to give credit where credit is due. Those images were not in the public domain, so NOM should cite the photographers. How can you disagree with this?

  26. TC Matthews
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    There's nothing to disagree with. Sounds to me like they got it all figured out with the photographer of the photos. If there was a misunderstanding or problem with the kind of distribution agreement needed, the best thing is to replace the pictures. Done. What's to whine about?

  27. Little man
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Spunky: I disagree with you, and agree with NOM that the utilized picture in question is in the Public Domain. Give credit to whom, if the author is unknown? I once paid a photographer for a photo, though i could have downloaded the low-resolution version without paying. I respected the author's wishes. The question is: who is the author? (You don't know.) I would not trust anyone with a user name like 'Spunky'.