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08/25/2010

Out and proud NOMmers eat away your rights, save room for 'Deseret'

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2010-08-25 At 9.04.02 AmRobert George should be a familiar name to you. As the founding chairman of the National Organization For Marriage, one of the crafters of the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration, and a writer of the original Federal Marriage Amendment's language, Mr. George has perhaps shown more hostility towards gay people's lives and loves than just about anyone else in the nation, even if he's been more stealth about it than, say, Maggie Gallagher or Jim Dobson.

HollandMatthew S. Holland may be a less familiar personality, but don't let the lack of familiarity fool you. Holland was a fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, a conservative think tank program that was founded by Robert George. That program has strong Catholic ties, even receiving scores of cash from the Opus Dei group. But this Mr. Holland's Opus is not Dei -- he has deep Mormon connections. Ties which he brought to NOM when he served as a founding board member, predating the controversial Orson Scott Card as the organization's major Mormon link in the ongoing fight to stop gays' CIVIL rights.

So here's where it gets interesting. Our friend Chino Blanco, who has been indefatigable about exposing NOM's Catholic-Mormon allaince, has tipped us off to the fact that The Deseret News, Utah's second most circulated (and wholly LDS-owned) daily newspaper, has selected a new Editorial Advisory Board. And on that new board? Yup, you guessed it: Both Robert George and Matthew Holland:

Deseret News introduces Editorial Advisory Board [Chino Blanco]

It's no coincidence that George, considered by conservatives (and The New York Times) to be one of this nation's most prominent Catholic voices, is now closely aligned with the LDS-controlled Deseret News. It's all strategic. The Mormon-Catholic bond is crucial to NOM's longevity, and they know it. This Holland and George selection is just one more inroad -- one that hopes to shape the news in Utah in a way that circles a ring around the rosary and the Joseph statue, but not around gays' fingers.

***

**More, from The Salt Lake Tribune blog:

In an announcement printed in today's edition, the Deseret News said it had collected "thought leaders" from Utah and around the country to further the paper's stated values to "honor the principles espoused by our ownership" (a k a, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), espouse such virtues as "integrity, civility, morality and respect for all people," and work at "improving lives through lifting, inspiring and helping others find happiness."
...
"The interesting thing to note here is that only four of the 13 live in Utah, which solidifies the speculation that the Deseret News is slowly moving from being a Utah newspaper to a national LDS-centric paper/web entity."

D-News assembles "thought leaders" [SLT]

**UPDATE: Another point from Chino: Maggie Gallagher is on record saying: “… there is no connection between NOM and the church except that a Mormon serves on NOM’s board.” That comment is seeming ever more deceptive.

**ALSO: The new board also includes a legal counsel for the Becket Fund, Hannah Clayson Smith. This matters because (a) Becket Fund founder Kevin "Seamus" Hasson once compared anti-Prop 8 protests to Al Qaeda, (b) this year the Becket Fund honored Robert George at their Canterbury Medal Dinner, and (c) prominent Mormon businessman Bill Marriott was on hand at the event regaling Mr. George. Again: It's all about the formation of these religious alliances that then go on to strip us away of CIVIL rights: Becket play: NOM's the star -- but does Marriott play a supporting role? [G-A-Y]

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