Peter, Paul, & Mary's Warning to NOM
BY Michelle Garcia
August 31 2010 6:35 PM ET
The surviving members of the folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary have sent a cease and desist letter to the National Organization for Marriage, which has been using one if their most iconic songs during its antigay "Summer for Marriage" tour.
Kathleen Perrin of the Courage Campaign notified Peter Yarrow that the organization was using the group's recording of the Woody Guthrie song "This Land Is Your Land" during its rallies without permission. Yarrow said NOM's use of the song was "heartbreaking" and that he would contact the organization.
The July 27 letter to NOM executive director Brian Brown, displayed on the Courage Campaign's website, asks the group to stop using the song.
"We respect your right to hold and advocate for any position you wish, but the philosophy of the 'National Organization for Marriage' is directly contrary to the advocacy position Peter, Paul & Mary have held for decades, and so we do not want our recording of this song played at your rallies," the letter reads. Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (Mary Travers died in 2009) wrote that if NOM continues to use the song, "we will certainly do our best to make it clear to those who are aware of your rallies that we strenuously object because of our very strong opposition to the philosophy of your organization as noted above. Further, we will see if there is any legal action that we might be able to take to restrain you from playing it."