Julaine Appling Knows Best

Almost every week some organization or leader speaks out publicly against the civil unions and marriage ban for the first time. They often have very different reasons and represent very different constituencies.

To my knowledge, our opponents at the Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional Marriage, Vote Yes for Marriage, and the Family Research Institute have never revealed any groups or leaders on their side who support the ban.

Well, except for out-of-state figures like Phyllis Schlafly and James Dobson, and maybe three or four Wisconsin clergy people. Granted, Julaine Appling has said 4,000 to 5,000 churches have signed on to support the ban, yet the list has never been made publicly available.

Because apparently Julaine Appling and her organizations don't have diverse groups and leaders who support the ban, they simply fire back at those who oppose it. No matter what perspective they have, no matter what constituency they represent, and no matter what kind of expertise they have, she says they don't know what they're talking about. She apparently knows best.

Let's review.

Wisconsin Bar Association presidents announced their opposition to the ban, saying they opposed a constitutional amendment that would deny rights. Yesterday, Vote Yes for Marriage put out a release titled, "Constitutional Law 101: Lawyers Need a Refresher Course." The release quotes Julaine saying, "Claiming the constitution grants rights is flat out wrong."

Julaine knows the law better than a bipartisan mix of former Bar Association presidents?

Business leaders, including the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Madison, Inc., oppose the ban because they believe it will hurt efforts to attract and retain talented professionals and employers. According to NBC 15, "a spokesperson with the Family Research Institute...says an all–out ban could be better for business, because they say statistics show men who are married to women are better employees than single men." Julaine Appling echoed this bit of business expertise in other media interviews as well.

Julaine understands what's good for business better than the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and its corporate players?

Labor organizations, from AFT Wisconsin to AFSCME to the AFL-CIO are working to defeat the ban because they fear it will hurt working families by taking away existing domestic partner benefits and limiting bargaining rights. Julaine Appling told several reporters that the ban would not impact domestic partner benefits and that these labor leaders don't speak for their members.

Julaine is more in touch with workers than labor unions?

Finally, when four former Wisconsin governors issued a joint statement against the ban, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this:
Julaine Appling, executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, which supports the amendment, said the statement by the former governors was wrong because a court could change the definition of marriage.
Does Julaine Appling know more about the law and our government than four former governors (one Republican and three Democrats)?

I do not mean to single out Julaine Appling in a personal way. It's just that she seems to be the only person among our opponents who ever speaks out publicly to the media.

Wisconson voters have a pretty clear choice. They can side with a bipartisan group former governors, CEOs, labor unions, and prominent attorneys -- or with Julaine Appling.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger David Schowengerdt said...

Very great eductational piece there, Josh.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Deon Q Young said...

That was awesome

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Keith said...

Great bit, Joshua! I am laughing out loud! (And then I want to cry, because you are so very accurate about how pathetic the official face of "yes" is.)

But then I sit and think, "Why, then, do 48% of Wisconsinites agree with Julaine?"

She may very well know better than the churches, the attorneys, the businesses, and the unions who have spoken publicly on our behalf.

I think it's because she and the Evil Doctor Dobson etc simply rest on the fact that the burden of proof is on us.

Vestries and denominational committees can pass resolutions for NO, but no one reads them. Yet when dozens of priests and ministers preach YES on Sunday morning, people listen.

Attorneys can bloviate about NO, but Julaine has an army of attorneys and elected representatives ready to take us all to court once YES is added to the Constitution.

Labor unions, no matter how much their standing committees' hearts may be with us, are made up of workers who make fun of gay families on weekends.

We need more pastors preaching about NO.

We need more attorneys and legistlators working in Madison to pass cogent means for Civil Unions.

We need more NASCAR Dads to see gay families on their evening news and in their mindless sitcoms. Not Will and Grace. Not stock footage of drag queens. But honest families, workers that struggle for their kids, who will be impacted by the amendment.

Thanks to Fair Wisconsin, we are building these constituencies. And hopefully the bloviating endorsements will turn into a real ability to influence people.

But Julaine has all those things already.

Fair Wisconsin is starting from behind. We have come far in a year. But the burden remains ours, because the constituency remains in Julaine's hands.

Inevitably, I believe, goodness will win out, and the people of Wisconsin's hearts will be turned away from evil. If not in 8 weeks, it will surely happen in a couple years when we repeal the amendment.

Work hard. Speak well. Broadcast noisily. Pray fervently!

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

What I find fascinating with this issue are two words that I hear from a lot of people when this topic is brought up..."Who Cares?"

No...they are not saying this as a response to the amendment as a whole, but rather its a response as to why they are going to vote no to the amendment.

They don't care how people want to live their lives but at the same time they respect the fact that people should be able to live the life they choose. Many have also said that the LBGT community is not hurting society so why should this limitation be placed on them.

Ms. Appling and a good majority of the people who are going to vote "yes" are doing it simply from a stereotypical point of view. And we all know what they point the finger to in regards to that.

Ms. Appling and Dr. Dobson are going to throw the bible out on many things around this issue. First, you cannot pick and choose verses, you need to read the entire text to understand what that verse is pertaining too. Second, God created us each in his own image and I feel that our sexuality is part of it, just like our hair color, fingerprint, etc. Third, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton Son. That whosoever believes will not parish, but have everlasting life." Does anyone have a bible where there is an (*) next to "whosoever" that states that gay and lesbians are excluded?

I have told some that told me they were going to vote yes that if this amendment does not affect their personal life, they should vote no. Because it will affect someone else.

In a letter to Mark Green's campaign, I asked the congressman what would happen if one of his kids ended up being gay and yet he supported this amendment? Still have yet to receive a response. Its about the people now, but the future as well.

If parents are voting yes to protect their children, they need to start thinking about the future of their child.

To Appling and Dobson, not all of us are pedofiles, sex crazed lunatics. We are unique individuals like you are. No one can really put a finger as to why we are attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex. It's another of God's great mysteries that we will know the answer to when we ALL enter heaven.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Labor unions, no matter how much their standing committees' hearts may be with us, are made up of workers who make fun of gay families on weekends.

Ummmm. Nope. Not true.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Andy Gordon said...

Great piece, Josh!

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Labor unions, no matter how much their standing committees' hearts may be with us, are made up of workers who make fun of gay families on weekends.

Ummmm. Nope. Not true.

I think both of you are correct. Certainly labor unions and union families don't deserve the blanket statement that they all make fun of gay families. But, growing up in a union family, I can say that my parents certainly had some harsh (and misinformed) things to say about gay people.

Once they realized that both my sister and I were gay, they changed their tone and now they certainly support our cause. So while it may seem that a lot homophobic words are uttered ("shop talk", as it's called), I think a lot of people at heart believe in equality on most levels.



At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the entire release regarding the State Bar presidents. You may want to get someone from teh Coalition Against Domestic Violence to respond to the allegation that this won't affect domestic violence protections, and specifically reference the fact that in Ohio, the same people claiming it would not affect domestic violence laws have just filed a legal brief asking the courts there to determine that the domestic violence laws no longer apply to unmarried couples. We really need to point out the lies and hypocrisy.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Phillip Kitzer said...

Well said, Josh.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Mike Fitzpatrick said...

I don't know if Julaine reads the "No On The Amendment" blog, but I have been able to identify FRI's computer signature in Quest's website traffic records. I have also mentioned in two recent articles appearing in Quest and on QNU that FRI had not posted a list of supporters. And I believe either she or a staffer have seen those stories.

Interestingly, I checked the FRI website September 14 and viola! a list of 50+ supporters - all pastors - has appeared (the link is in the upper right corner of the FRI home page). Aamzingly some of the top people tied to the Coalition For Traditional Marriage do NOT appear on the list!

BTW- Whatever happened to Lorri Pickens, one-time mouthpiece for "Vote YES For Marriage" who was tied to fraud charges in a 1997 political scandal involving she and her husband? (I also noticed the Vote YES website finally is up and running. Will that be the filter for the SpongeBob Squarepants team's rhetoric?)

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Mike Fitzpatrick said...

I had a chance to do a count of the names on FRI's supporters page. I see 242 names from about 200 religious institutions, mostly independent evangelical operations. The list also includes two nuns, two free-lance pastors (not affiliated with any bricks and mortar church), and - most notably - the Bishop of Madison.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

The link to the list is labeled "ever-growing", but my quick count was 233--is it shrinking?? On top of it all, one pastor listed himself twice.

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Thanks for this terrific commentary. I am a Minnesotan, and I recently was exposed to Julaine Appling for the first time when our local tv station, KARE 11, ran a story on Wisconsin's marriage amendment.

I had not before heard a supporter of an anti-gay marriage amendment reveal her motivation as baldly as in this quote: "Society needs to control sexual activity....Anytime that you have rampant sexual activity, with no prescriptions on it, society is headed for trouble." - "Decision 2006: Wisconsin votes on Same-Sex Marriage," KARE 11, October 23, 2006

I guess Julaine knows better than you whom you ought to have sex with, no matter who you are.


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