Will Anti-Gay Group NOM be one band’s Yoko Ono?

15 Mar

It’s been a rough week for the anti-gay group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) – actually, a really rough two days to be specific.

Let’s review:

In an AP interview on Thursday, John Eastman, chair of NOM blasted families with adopted children and specifically the family of Chief Justice John Roberts (who has two adopted children):

“You’re looking at what is the best course societywide to get you the optimal result in the widest variety of cases. That often is not open to people in individual cases. Certainly adoption in families headed, like Chief Roberts’ family is, by a heterosexual couple, is by far the second-best option.

Next, NOM released a commercial for their hate march happening March 26th the same day as the United for Marriage rally outside the Supreme Court. As with any anti-gay propaganda they release, it was full of lies which have been debunked dozens of times – and were debunked again by our friend Jeremy Hooper at GoodAsYou.org.

Then last night, NOM proudly announced the talent they’d acquired for their big gay-hate fest. Two musical groups were announced, The Lee Boys – a “sacred steel ensemble,” and an adorable celtic fiddle-playing boyband called Ultramontane.

The Lee Boys were set to perform at NOM's anti-gay march until they learned it was an anti-gay march.

The Lee Boys were set to perform at NOM’s anti-gay march until they learned it was an anti-gay march.

This morning, Jeremy Hooper started reaching out. In the first few hours of the day, he discovered that Katie Herzig, the writer of the song used in NOM’s hate march video is actually a big fan of marriage equality. Additionally, NOM stole her song without permission – apparently ignoring one of the Ten Commandments. Katie is now demanding it be taken down.

Following that, it seems the Lee Boys weren’t aware that NOM was an anti-gay group and immediately upon finding out, pulled out of the rally. One band member told Jeremy “Music is about love.”

"Ultramontane" according to NOM's website

“Ultramontane” according to NOM’s website

So what was up with these attractive young men and their fiddles? Jeremy had done enough great work, so I took this one on myself. After googling Ultramontane for hours, I discovered this band clearly didn’t exist. Then Jeremy swooped in again and found the photo NOM had used on another band’s website. It seems this band was known as “Scythian” just moments ago…well 4 out of 5 of them anyway.


The band, Scythian (which looks alarmingly like the band Utramontane) (from r to l) Ben-David Warner, Alexander Fedoryka, Danylo Fedoryka, Andrew Toy and Josef Crosby.

Why would they change their name and cut that poor sweet boy with the beard out of their little fiddle club? The band had plenty of recent concert dates and upcoming ones as well, had they split up?

Upon further research, it seems they have not split up and actually only 3 of these guys will be playing for the anti-gay march. Alexander Fedoryka, Danylo Fedoryka and Ben-David Warner apparently have no problem aligning themselves with the hate group, while drummer Andrew Toy and Josef Crosby apparently didn’t want any part of the bigoted goings-on.

The band’s representation, Skyline Music LLC released the following statement:

“Like this country, the members of Scythian are divided on the definition of marriage, but, remaining great friends, they have the utmost respect for each other’s’ freedoms of speech and assembly.”

While of course no one can argue that when disagreeing, we should do so respectfully, I can’t help but wonder how Andrew and Josef feel about the other members of the band using their photos to help promote this hate march. Though I hadn’t heard of this group before yesterday, it’s a DC area band I would have loved to see play some time. But after this, I certainly can’t see myself supporting the livelihoods of young men aligning themselves with people who think I’m “worthy of death.”

The band has since removed this photo from their website, assumingly so they won’t be associated with the new anti-gay band “Ultramontane,” but one must wonder if the anti-gay NOM will be the Yoko Ono of Scythian. Apparently NOM isn’t happy just breaking up gay and lesbian families.


Following an announcement on Friday evening of the band’s intent about the rally (that three members were playing it and 2 were staying out), as of Monday morning their facebook page and twitter accounts have both disappeared.

Before now, none of the band members had publicly acknowledged their support of the LGBT community. But on drummer Andrew Toy‘s facebook page, he replied to one thankful commenter:

“I have always been and will always be an LGBT ally and supporter of marriage equality!”

Thank you, Andrew for your support!

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 10.45.37 AM


12 Responses to “Will Anti-Gay Group NOM be one band’s Yoko Ono?”

  1. Bobby McGuire March 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    This is great! Thanks for posting.

  2. stefan March 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Having followed the band for many years, I’m extremely disappointed. I knew that the Fedoryka brothers were raised in the Orthodox tradition, but never expected this from them. Ben-David is a new addition to the band, so I really haven’t gotten a chance to know his playing or work.
    Andrew is from the Philly area.. and perhaps ironically, the only actually married member is Joe Crosby (the bearded gent)… who created an entire recurring festival to celebrate love and diversity when he got married. *sigh*
    Also, there’s the association of other bands and musicians (who are generally openly supportive, or at least not a-holes and from countries who have marriage rights) with huge followings that Scythian is associated with in the same circuit who will undoubtedly be affected by this… as well as Scythian’s former drummer, Mike Ounallah, currently of Black Masala and other projects.
    I’m no longer looking forward to the Celtic Fling… as some of those other bands often share a stage with Scythian there. That’s a depressing thought.

    • bob March 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      This wont affect Black Masala at all…there are a few of their members who play in other projects fronted by gay people, and the dancers at their shows are pretty obviously diverse in their orientation.

  3. tgflux March 18, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    It’s all very curious. “Ultramontane” is a historic word that means, roughly, “more Catholic than the Pope” (the most hardcore hammer-of-orthodoxy Roman Catholics. I call them “Popoids”). The Russian-named guys stood out, and I suspected they might be Eastern Orthodox (lately, the Russian Orthodox Church has been becoming infamous for being much MORE homophobic, than even Rome). At any rate, it’s all very sad.

    • Marco March 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Apparantly, NOMs definition of the Traditional Marriage March meant One Black band, and One White Band.

  4. Leighann March 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    I am shocked Scythian took down their page. They made their beds and such…
    It’s a shame because I LOVE the band, have for years. I hope they see the light, and pull out as well. *fingers crossed*

  5. mary C March 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Sad that they play music for a hate group.


  1. Members Of Celtic Band Scythian Refuse To Play For National Organization For Marriage | Gay Guide Vegas - March 18, 2013

    […] Hooper did some more digging and discovered Ultramontane was a new name for the established act Scythian. In fact, their band photos are nearly identical. The only difference? Two members of […]

  2. NOM’s Anti-Gay March Is Breaking Up The Boys In The Band | News Talk One - March 18, 2013

    […] problem with Ultramontane is that it didn’t exist before last week — it’s a subgroup of a band known as Scythian. This was discovered when some oddly-cropped photos were matched […]

  3. Members of band hurt by NOM speak out | Talk About Equality - March 20, 2013

    […] upon researching their 2nd announced act, I discovered the band didn’t exist. Called “Ultramontane,” the celtic fiddle boy band was actually 3 of the 5 members of a […]

  4. NOM’s Anti-Gay No-Show Band “Apologizes” (to volunteers) | Talk About Equality - May 30, 2013

    […] In working with GoodAsYou.org’s Jeremy Hooper, we immediately went on the lookout to find out just what they were planning. Jeremy did some incredible work to research the musicians slated to perform at the anti-gay event. One group backed out nearly immediately after being informed of NOM’s history and the truth behind their work. Another group, a band named “Ultramontane” was nowhere to be found. After some further research, we discovered “Ultramontane” was actually just 3 out of the 5 members of the band, Scythian. […]

  5. NOM breaks up the band | Talk About Equality - June 6, 2013

    […] piece I posted, titled “Will NOM be this band’s Yoko Ono” was never meant to actually be a prediction that NOM would cause the break-up of the band, […]

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