National organization for marriage Calls on Leaders of Marriage Equality Rhode Island AND Queer Action to Repudiate Bullying Tactics


“Gay marriage advocates…approached and threatened children. This has no place in a civilized society.”

Brian Brown, President of NOM

WASHINGTON, DC - After pro-gay marriage advocates stormed the podium at their recent Providence, Rhode Island rally, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is calling on leaders of the gay marriage movement in Rhode Island to repudiate tactics of harassment at public rallies.

“We are calling on the leaders of Marriage Equality Rhode Island and Queer Action to repudiate the words and actions of followers who stormed the podium, who attempted to prevent NOM speakers from being heard, and most importantly those gay marriage advocates who approached and threatened children. This has no place in a civilized society. We understand that this is a difficult issue and that followers in a crowd can do things that leaders do not approve. We are asking Rhode Island gay marriage leaders to draw a line in the sand and say ‘this was wrong, we’re sorry, it won’t happen again.’

NOM is particularly concerned about incivility and threats directed at children and parents of children who attended.

“You’d better watch that kid or we’re going to kidnap him,” one man said. The incident was captured by NOM's videographer and is posted here:

A woman identified by NBC news as a leader of Queer Action, Susan Heroux, later justified the tactics of the protestors. Heroux told a reporter from The Boston Edge that gay marriage counter protestors at NOM’s Providence rally did nothing wrong.

"People expressed themselves in a respectful manner," Heroux told The Boston Edge.

“When I first met Susan Heroux, she introduced herself to me as the Board Chair of Marriage Equality Rhode Island,” added Maggie Gallagher, Chariman of NOM, “And she is still featured prominently on their website under their ‘friends and neighbors’ gallery. We pledge to continue NOM’s own commitment to respect the rights of gay marriage supporters to speak, organize and rally for their views. We are calling on all people of good will but especially leaders for gay marriage in Rhode Island to make it publicly clear to their followers that harassment and threats, especially to children and mothers of young children, are unacceptable behavior.”

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, or Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM, please contact Mary Beth Hutchins (x105), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.