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Video: Ann, it's okay to call a certifiable lie a lie

by Jeremy Hooper

Here's another clip in which Ann Curry talks about her upcoming Rick Warren interview:

Okay, so first off: Anchor Contessa Brewer did a fantastic job setting this up. Rarely do we hear someone in the MSM so clearly separate civil marriage from optional religious sanctioning. So brava for that, Ms. Brewer.

But Ann: We love ya almost as much as the spice that shares your name. We really do. You wake us up every morning in the most charming of fashions:

(from "The Soup")

But Ann, as you continue to do press for this interview and talk about how Warren has a fear that preachers will have their speech impinged upon, please follow that flawed idea up with a statement like, "...but of course we who have studied the issue know that this idea is untrue." Because it is untrue, Ann. This is not a debatable. Civil marriage equality is about CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY. It is a verifiable fact that Massachusetts preachers are just as free now to condemn gays to a firey hell as they were on the day before the Goodridge decision went into effect!! It is also a legal fact that pastors are not forced to marry a couple, gay or straight!!

America needs clarity, not confusion, on this issue.

NBC's Curry repeated Warren falsehood about Prop 8 without noting it's false [Media Matters]

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Your thoughts

According to an interfaith study on the issue of how gay marriage will affect religious freedom:

"Lawsuits will likely arise when religious people or religious organizations choose, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs, not to hire individuals in same-sex marriages, refuse to extend spousal benefits to same-sex spouses, refuse to make their property or services available for same-sex marriage ceremonies or other events affirming same-sex marriage, or refuse to provide otherwise available housing to same-sex couples. "

and from Rob Dreher, columnist for the Dallas Morning News:

"It is not a scare tactic, or a made-up charge: there really will be a substantial effect on traditional churches, synagogues, mosques and religious institutions if gay marriage is constitutionalized.”

I wish your comments that gay marriage will not affect religious freedom were true, but I fear it is not the case. More info on the study can be found in a post of mine here: http://voiceofrevolution.askdrbrown.org/2008/12/05/becket-fund-study-on-gay-marriage/

Posted by: Marcus French | Dec 18, 2008 5:56:23 PM

The way that Ms Curry evades the question - she should go into politics!

Now, Mr. French, your post is quite curious, because its contents continue to perpetuate incorrect assumptions and to use unrelated examples to prove your point.

Lawsuits: anyone can sue for anything, and while this may happen, a church's freedoms are not trampled by marriage equality. Now, if an employer refuses to hire someone simply because they are married, regardless to whom, as you say in your quote, "not to hire individuals in same-sex marriages", well, do you not see that this is wrong? Employers can currently not extend benefits to spouses if they choose, so why would someone sue over that?

The argument regarding property and services, I assume you're talking about the new Jersey case: "The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA), a Methodist organization, had taken advantage of a New Jersey law granting a state property tax exemption for a pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove that was dedicated for public use. Note that the case did not involve income tax exemptions and note that the purpose for giving the exemption in the first place was to reward organizations for opening their buildings and facilities for public use.

"The property in question was a boardwalk pavilion open to the public. “Bands play there. Children skateboard through it. Tourists enjoy the shade. It’s even been used for debates and Civil War re‐enactments.” It was also available to be reserved for marriage ceremonies by people of any faith. Nevertheless, the OGCMA wanted to prohibit a gay commitment ceremony (not a marriage ceremony) from being held in the pavilion. The New Jersey real estate commission ruled that if OGCMA intended to claim a property tax exemption for a building open to the public, they could not discriminate. Seen in this light, it was a sensible ruling. Implicit in the ruling is that the group could discriminate if they ceased to claim a property tax exemption for a public facility. It is important to note that this ruling pertained only to the pavilion, which constituted a mere one percent of the property the OGCMA owned. The total amount of additional tax assessed was $200. The OGCMA continues to receive a property tax exemption for the remaining 99% of its property."[Morris A. Thurston]

The housing argument "relates to an experience at Yeshiva University in New York. Gay students were eligible for University housing, but their partners were not able to join them because they did not have marriage certificates. It should be noted that Yeshiva University (despite its name) is chartered as a nonsectarian institution, enabling it to receive state and federal funding. The New York court found that Yeshiva was discriminating against the students based on their sexual orientation—not their marital status. The ruling was based on New York City non‐discrimination laws." [Morris A. Thurston]

Finally, Canada and other countries that have marriage equality have seen no change or substantial effect on traditional churches. To suggest otherwise is to spread a lie.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 18, 2008 7:10:44 PM

I can't believe no one is citing all the hate groups that are allowed to speak freely in America all they want. Nobody's shut the Klan up. Westboro makes as much noise as they want. This is America and you can say whatever nasty shit you want, believe it don't to your shriveled heart, etc. That's not going to change and I wouldn't want it to. This is the country if you want to wall yourself off and make a little exclusive club with a sign out front that says No Gays Allowed; FINE! Just keep your club rules out of the Constitution and mind your own business!

Why can't we all just learn to ignore each other? I wish these pastors could realize just how little gay marriage has to do with them. Literally not going to affect you at all. Literally. And if it does, it shouldn't. What gay couple would fight in court to get married in a horribly intolerant church by someone who spits their vows at them? They're seriously worried about that? WHY IS THIS EVEN AN ISSUE GROSS!

Posted by: L.A. Fields | Dec 18, 2008 7:36:22 PM

I always liked Ann Curry on the NBC Nightly News where she appeared rarely. No more. I never realized what an a** ho** she really is.

I was really pissed about Rick Warren being asked by Obama for the invocation. Maybe he'll buzz off.

I saw Milk a couple of hours ago, so I'm admittedly a bit tender. Let me ask you if that tape Harvey was working on was real, or was that just a contrivance to help hold the movie together?

It was a simply GREAT flick

Posted by: [email protected] | Dec 18, 2008 9:53:10 PM


I was going off of the Becket Fund study, which looked at laws in general rather than specific rulings (as far as I could tell). What made you think I was referring to specific cases?

Posted by: Marcus French | Dec 18, 2008 9:53:11 PM

"Finally, Canada and other countries that have marriage equality have seen no change or substantial effect on traditional churches. To suggest otherwise is to spread a lie."



Posted by: North Dallas Thirty | Dec 18, 2008 9:53:13 PM

Marcus French, are you seriously quoting from a Becket Fund "Study" HERE! I haven't read the "study", but I can say with no equivocation that anything from the Becket Fund should ever be taken at face value. They are one of the most biased, radical right wing, totalitarian-leaning propaganda machines around. They put up the notorious "No Mob Veto" ad that was riddled with lies quoted from the most anti-gay religious leaders in the country.

Believing that the Becket Fund has produced a valid piece of research that isn't specious would be tantamount to publishing any drek from Fred Phelps and calling it "research".

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 18, 2008 10:03:52 PM

They put up the notorious "No Mob Veto" ad that was riddled with lies quoted from the most anti-gay religious leaders in the country.

What exactly are the "lies" they put forth in the ad? The HRC made the same claim, but didn't even make an effort to explain. (BTW, I did have some issues with the ad, as I stated in our No Mob Veto/HRC Response article: http://voiceofrevolution.askdrbrown.org/2008/12/06/no-mob-veto/).

Posted by: Marcus French | Dec 18, 2008 10:21:02 PM


In response to the bulk of your points, I'll quote from a colleague:

"The Washington Blade (May 30, 2008) asked, “Apart from state- or federally funded religious programs, could the legalization of same-sex marriage in California prevent priests and ministers from preaching that homosexuality is biblically forbidden? Could churches in time risk their tax- exempt status by refusing to marry gays? That remains to be seen and will likely result in a steady stream of court battles” (my emphasis). Catholic Charities in Boston dropped out of the adoption business because they were required by the state to place children in same-sex households; Elaine Photography in New Mexico was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because of religious convictions; and a doctor in California was found guilty of refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian woman so she and her partner could have a baby, again because of religious convictions, and despite the fact that this doctor personally referred the patient to another doctor. As predicted by lesbian legal scholar Chai Feldblum, when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, 'I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.' "

Posted by: Marcus French | Dec 18, 2008 10:21:13 PM


You said: "Finally, Canada and other countries that have marriage equality have seen no change or substantial effect on traditional churches. To suggest otherwise is to spread a lie."

A case from Canada:

"Last year, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal likewise censured Stephen Boissoin, a part-time Baptist youth pastor, for publishing a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate in which he denounced a new program of teaching on homosexuality in the Alberta public schools.

For this offence to the sensitivities of homosexuals, the tribunal ordered Boissoin to apologize, pay $7,000 in damages and refrain from any more "disparaging" remarks about gays and homosexuals 'in newspapers, by e-mail, on the radio, in public speeches or on the Internet.' "

(from http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Columnists/Leishman_Rory/2008/11/29/7574646-sun.html)

Posted by: Marcus French | Dec 18, 2008 10:51:58 PM

Marcus, do you not read what you post:

"Last year, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal likewise censured Stephen Boissoin . . ."

Look at the words, "HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL". Countries which outlaw Hate Speech tend to frown on hate speech regardless of whether or not they allow same-sex marriage. Stephen Boissoin was prosecuted for Hate Speech, not for violating anything even remotely related to same-sex marriage.

The United States of America doesn't outlaw hate speech. In the US, in some cases incitement to violence is outlawed, but that is entirely related to the violent acts that they elicit, and it is very difficult to prove. So, the case you cite could never happen here.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 19, 2008 7:41:41 AM

Catholic Charities voluntarily got out of the adoption business in MA as a protest against marriage equality and because, as an entity that receives state funds, knew it would lose any lawsuit it tried to bring to challenge MA adoption laws.

With regard to the NM case, um, does NM have marriage equality? I don't think so. So they were sued under existing non-marriage equality laws. Same goes for the doctor, sued under existing non-discrimination laws.

As for the Baptist in Alberta, he was censured for making hateful statements outside his church, not for statements made inside. Again, nothing to do with his ability to say what he wants inside his traditional church.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 19, 2008 7:41:42 AM

Well, Marcus, there are so many of them, it's futile to attempt to discuss all of them in one post, so let's start with this one:

Furthermore, beginning today, we commit ourselves to exposing and publicly shaming anyone who resorts to the rhetoric of anti-religious bigotry—against any faith, on any side of any cause, for any reason.

If that were anything less than a lie, then they would necessarily need to begin by publicly shaming several of those who signed the ad. Wayne Besen makes a pretty good case for that in his ad, "Lies in the Name of the Lord"


If what they said is true, then then need to "publicly shame" Donahue, Cizik and Colson for doing exactly that. Or, maybe that those three signed that ad is "shame" enough.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 19, 2008 7:41:44 AM

Oh, and why I assumed you were talking about specific cases? Because the same tired old examples keep getting trotted out to "prove" the point that marriage equality is going to ruin our lives. Every single one you DID specifically mention is included every time along with the two that I cited. So predictable.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 19, 2008 7:41:48 AM

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