In documents recently made public through an investigation in Maine into the National Organization for Marriage's attempts to circumvent campaign finance and disclosure laws, a definitive plan to drive a wedge between people of color and the LGBT community came into sharp focus. Rarely do we see such a divisive, race-based wedge strategy laid so bare:
"The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots."
NOM's $20 million dollar ‘Strategy for Victory' also included explicit plans to bait Latino voters, use offensive "save the children" arguments, and court Catholic Bishops for support against marriage equality.
While not surprising, and something many of us have been pointing out for years about NOM's strategy, it is still shocking and disgusting to see such a cynical and divisive race-based plan laid out in such stark terms. For an organization that constantly claims to be the "victims of the hate-filled homosexual agenda" to literally spell out a strategy of dividing our country using race, religion, and bias truly exposes an anti-equality movement grounded in bigotry.
Freedom to Marry's founder and President Evan Wolfson laid out just what these documents mean in the statement he issued. "In its anti-gay crusade to block the freedom to marry, NOM has spent years working to drive wedges within communities across the nation, all the while claiming it does not 'hate' anyone, gay or non-gay," said Wolfson. "Now exposure of NOM's own strategy memos confirms that NOM will stop at nothing to push its agenda, pitting American against American, minority against minority, family members against family members."
Beyond just exposing the despicable nature of NOM's strategy of creating racial tension and division in an already polarized country, these smoking gun papers undercut some of NOM's most-used arguments when fighting for the right to marry for same-sex couples. The deplorable and inaccurate, yet incredibly effective, claims of LGBT people "harming children" were shown to be central in NOM's plans. Yet their own language and cynical use of children turns that argument around, placing NOM in the spotlight. NOM's plans to use kids in their bigoted crusade was spelled out in plans to "develop side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders" like pornography, "protection of children", and even creating nauseating accusations of Obama "sexualizing young children" or threatening "childhood innocence." We saw this strategy in campaigns like California's Prop 8, as well as in other states fighting for marriage equality.
It's nothing we didn't already know, but to have it literally spelled out in their own documents is damning on a whole new level. These memos, and the damning strategy within, should follow NOM (and their spokespeople like Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown) around forever. These documents should be used in every court case to show equality opponents' animus towards LGBT people. There should be no interview, press conference, rally, or debate that NOM and their ilk are involved in that don't focus on this disturbing strategy.
This is the anti-equality agenda laid bare. Knowing that they can't convince Americans to support them with facts or reason, groups like NOM sew the seeds of bias and bigotry seeking to divide and conquer. The National Organization for Marriage's horrendous ‘Strategy for Victory' shows concrete proof of an organization, and a movement, that is willing to do or say anything to advance an admitted agenda of divisive bigotry.
Take a good look, America. This is the face of the opponents of equality.