Will NOM condemn French “pro-family” violence, use of kids as human shields?

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the lead anti-gay activist group fighting equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians in the US, has yet to speak out against the violence its brethren in France committed yesterday in Paris in the name of “defending marriage.”

As we reported last night, religious right anti-gay-marriage marchers in France yesterday got violent with local police who were simply trying to keep the “pro family” protesters from entering a forbidden area. But NOM’s allies in France were having none of the authorities’ repeated admonitions to please back off. NOM’s allies pushed and shoved police officers, grabbed at them and their equipment, until the French police were finally forced to use batons and tear gas against the increasingly unruly anti-gay mob.

But it didn’t stop there.

NOM’s “friends” in France, as NOM calls France’s anti-gay anti-marriage activists, then started a rallying cry for protesters to use their own children as almost human shields against the police, who by now had warned protesters repeatedly to back away. But they didn’t back away. One protester, a man possibly in his 40s, with his two or three year old son on his shoulders, urged his fellow protesters:

“On met les enfants devant! On met les enfants devant!”

“Let’s put the kids in front! Let’s put the kids in front!”

This was moments after police in the same location had just used their batons and tear gas on the protesters.

The protester then marched right up to the French riot police, in the zone they had told him to back away from, with his child on his shoulders, when only moments before there was violence and tear gas.

What kind of parent would see violence and tear gas and the first thought that goes through their mind is “bring the kids the front!”?

That’s the question of the day for NOM.  NOM was shameless in promoting the last protest that anti-gay “family values” activists held in Paris, writing about it over and over again on their Web site.  Even Buzzfeed noted the close ties between NOM and the French anti-gay activists. And here’s NOM’s president Brian Brown in Paris at the earlier rally in January, bragging about his support for the French anti-gay activists:

And NOM was happy to post a big picture of today’s Paris march on its own Web site:


In addition, who seems to be paying the most attention to NOM’s Facebook page these past few days?  Why, the Parisians:


Connection after connection after connection between NOM and the French, yet not a peep from NOM about its French ally’ use of violence against police officers, and their call to use children as human shields.

How does NOM about parents exposing small children to tear gas and riots?

Make no mistake, NOM’s own president, Brian Brown, traveled to Paris to not only join the last big anti-gay anti-marriage march, but to also conspire with the very anti-gay leaders who were also behind today’s violent march.  Here is Brian Brown in his own words:

I am proud to be a part of this historic moment in France…. I have been so excited to be part of this new international solidarity movement in defense of marriage, children and family…. But I am inspired to see that those of us in America who hold the institution of marriage sacred truly have so many friends overseas and around the world.

A new day is dawning for marriage.

As I said when I ended a speech last night before a group of French leaders in the fight to protect marriage: Vive le Marriage — Vive la France!

A part of this new international solidarity movement.  Friends.  And a speech to anti-gay French leaders.

Clearly NOM is allied with the violent pro-family movement in France.  So what does NOM have to say about that violence?  And about putting French children in danger in order to score points in their battle against the civil rights of gay men and lesbians?

And before NOM tries disown its connection to the French protesters, earlier this year, in addition to all the other pro-France stories on NOM’s Web site, there was also this – a nasty broadside against France’s pro-gay president by NOM:

The new elected ruler of France has no plans to marry his current partner. After all, he never married, in thirty years, the mother of his four children, with whom he split up recently. His current partner is legally married to another man.

Perhaps you can’t expect a man with those views and values to understand that marriage is, for so many, a sacred value (even for many without explicit religious belief); to understand that marriage is society’s way of expressing not just a personal relationship but an intergenerational compact: the need to bring together male and female so that children can know the love of their mother and father.

Clearly NOM is in bed with the French anti-gay protest movement.  And clearly NOM needs to speak out against the violence, and the total lack of concern for the safety of children, that was shown by NOM’s French allies yesterday in Paris.

NOM always tells us that their never-ending war on civil rights is “for the children.”  Will NOM speak out for the children who were put in harm’s way NOM’s own allies in Paris  yesterday?

And what has NOM done to ensure that the same pro-family violence doesn’t break out in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, where NOM has organized its activist to descend to coincide with the court hearing two gay marriage cases, Tuesday and Wednesday?  NOM brags on its Web site that a contingent tied to the French pro-family radicals will be at the Supreme Court on Tuesday.  The NOM post includes a photo of what are apparently French activists in Washington, showing support for the now-violent rally in Paris.

nom-gay-kidsNote once again the prominent role underage children play in NOM’s propaganda.

What guarantees has NOM made that this French contingent won’t replicate the violence of its Parisian brethren before the US Supreme Court on Tuesday?

When will decry the violence?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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27 Responses to “Will NOM condemn French “pro-family” violence, use of kids as human shields?”

  1. NOM and the French marchers are WITHOUT HONOUR!

  2. cole3244 says:

    the more anger you show at change the weaker you argument against it is.

  3. Clecinosu says:

    “Will NOM condemn French “pro-family” violence, use of kids as human shields?”

    Short answer: No.

    What a shock.

  4. silas1898 says:

    It is tiresome. A long time local anchorlady was absolutely gushing when Benny the Rat announced he was coming to the area awhile back. The recent pope-a-thon was the lead local story. Local reporters live in Rome (lucky bastards), the whole sorry bit.

  5. doctorjsmythe says:

    The real story of importance is the fact 1.2 MILLION people protested all at once in the same location.

  6. BeccaM says:

    Exactly. They’re not ‘pro-family’ at all, because their only purpose is to try to harm the existing families of gay and lesbian couples.

  7. “Clearly NOM is allied with the violent pro-family movement in France.”

    We should not be granting them the dignity of using that label. They are not pro-family, as they clearly devalue our families. If you must call them anything, “so-called family values movement” is the most I’d give them. I’d prefer to see a spade called a spade, and never refer to them as anything but “anti-gay.”

  8. It’s a fine line with violent protests. Sometimes you get the public on your side, if you can prove that you were non-violent – the kids in SoCal who got tear gassed just sitting there. These people were not “just sitting there.” They were charging the police, throwing things at them, and caught on tape urging people to shove their two year old children into the middle of the tear gas. Hardly sympathetic victims.

  9. Joneses says:

    Now I know why pro-lifers are against abortion. I know I’m wrong in lumping all of them together as such because I have to believe that most pro-lifers would not use children as shields, but, a great many of them are just plain insane.

  10. BeccaM says:

    Do groups like NOM ever argue for laws and for programs that in real and concrete ways would strengthen families and marriages? Do they lobby for guaranteed access to pre- and post-natal care for pregnant women and for their kids once born? Do they express concern or care about economic opportunities for poor and struggling young families? Do they argue for improved schools? Given ‘marriage’ is in their name and they claim to be defending it, are they in favor of public funding for counseling so that struggling couples can work out their differences and avoid divorce? Are they willing to admit that sometimes a marriage cannot be saved and it is for the best — including for the kids — to let it go?

    Do they ever condemn anti-gay violence, whether it’s this protest-gone-bad in France or the criminals who assault and sometimes kill gay people? Are they against the laws being proposed in a number of African countries that would impose the death penalty for gay people?

    I think we know the answer to all of those nearly rhetorical questions is “No.”

    Is the entire reason NOM (and AFA and FRC and other SPLC-identified hate groups) exists at all only to (1) use any means necessary to deny civil rights and protections to LGBT people and (2) to dip deep into the pockets of homophobic bigots and willing rubes, to raise money to keep the hate-machine running? Yes.

  11. JozefAL says:

    Brian Brown santorumed,

    “The new elected ruler of France has no plans to marry his current partner. After all, he never married, in thirty years, the mother of his four children, with whom he split up recently. His current partner is legally married to another man.

    Perhaps you can’t expect a man with those views and values to understand that marriage is, for so many, a sacred value (even for many without explicit religious belief); to understand that marriage is society’s way of expressing not just a personal relationship but an intergenerational compact: the need to bring together male and female so that children can know the love of their mother and father.”

    Is Brown SOOOO completely ignorant of the history of French “marriage?” This was, after all, the society which made an artform out of married men maintaining multiple households–he married one woman and had “legitimate” children while setting up another woman in her own home and carrying on a long-term relationship with her. (I believe the French even had a particular term for this but I cannot remember what it is.) Even today, many “happily married” French men have what would be called “adulterous” relationships in the US.

  12. BeccaM says:


  13. BeccaM says:

    Yep. It’s all about privilege.

    First, heterosexist privilege, in denying legal recognition to — as I am constantly saying here — couples and families that already exist. And at the core of it is patriarchal privilege, because when they assert that children are “entitled” to a mother and a father, what they’re really expressing is an desire to enforce anachronistic and sexist gender roles.

  14. Ninong says:

    Well, it was Brian Brown. What did you expect? LOL

  15. Ninong says:

    The mainstream media in this country is afraid of appearing to be anti-Christian. Ever notice how the media in cities that are predominately Catholic will devote huge segments of the local evening news to events having to do with the Catholic Church? How they avoid reporting anything negative about the Church? How they will always get a comment from the local diocesan spokesperson as a counter-argument every time anything at all comes up in the news that has to do with gay rights, stem-cell research or abortion?

    I live in a city that was nominally 80% Catholic when I was a child. It’s still majority Catholic but nowhere near 80%. Their treatment of any news that has anything to do with the Catholic Church is almost as if they were an unofficial arm of the Church — sort of like the relationship between Fox News and the GOP. Every time there is anything in the news about President Obama that in any way is different from the official Catholic Church position on something, they will stick in a response from the archdiocese’s spokesperson. And that negative comment is always last. They want to make sure the Church has the final word.

  16. Carl Gorney says:

    John: To answer the question you pose in the last line, here’s the answer…

    Right around the 1st of NEVER.

    You’re welcome.

  17. Blogvader says:

    I have a feeling that article title of yours is rhetorical. :)

  18. France isn’t a very god-fearing country, like we are. Just as much of a chance that the secular 90% look at this and think “those religious nuts are insane.”

  19. UncleBucky says:

    It’s not to protect “marriage”, no. It’s to enforce MEN’S authority over marriages, and not to dilute that authority, I’d say. So, you can use women, children, or any other “weaker” person to enforce [white] male authority. And naturally, the kids don’t know what’s going on, but they’re like heroes? So this is how NEW BIGOTS are created. Meh.

  20. Oh, no doubt, no doubt. I’m just pointing out that there’s no hope that this fracas is going to be any embarrassment to the self-styled defenders of marriage. Quite the opposite is true, I fear.

  21. Steve_in_CNJ says:

    And of course it’s “le mariage” with one R. As in Figaro.

  22. Stev84 says:

    Playing victims like that is exactly why they provoked the police in the first place.

  23. Stev84 says:

    It’s really no surprise that an all-Catholic organization like NOM would have close to ties to protests organized by a nearly all-Catholic cabal.

  24. I don’t think much good will come of this. I haven’t the heart to confirm my guess but I conjecture that the anti-equality forces are wailing that the evil secular Frenchies are tear-gassing honest men and women who love God and family, proving that big government wants to suppress and punish traditional values. This sorry incident is going to help them, not hurt them.

  25. clarknt67 says:

    Using children as literal shield is the ultimate evolution of NOM’s movement using them as metaphorical shields to hide their hatred as some high-minded goal.

  26. olandp says:

    The NOM has always used children as a figurative shield and cudgel, woh can be surprised that children would be used in a figurative way. After all, in traditional marriage, children are chattel just like wives are. Marriage is traditionally a property rights contract.

  27. FLL says:

    An even more pertinent question, John, is whether the mainstream media will start asking questions about the recent events in Paris involving anti-gay protesters and their young children. This story should have legs.

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