Anti-gay group’s strategy: To divide blacks, gays, Latinos


UPDATED: Internal documents for the National Organization for Marriage reveal that the anti-gay group sought to divide blacks, gays and Latinos to advance its campaign against marriage equality.

“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,” read the NOM document obtained this week by the Human Rights Campaign.

HRC posted PDFs of several documents from NOM that were secured as part of a Maine investigation into the financial operation of the organization.

“With the veil lifted, Americans everywhere can now see the ugly politics that the National Organization for Marriage traffics in every day. While loving gay and lesbian couples seek to make lifelong commitments, NOM plays racial politics, tries to hide donors and makes up lies about people of faith. The contrast could not be any starker,” said HRC president Joe Solmonese. “The reason that Americans are steadily moving in the direction of marriage equality is because they identify with the loving and committed couples who want to enter into the institution, not NOM’s underhanded tactics of lies and manipulation.”

NOM has emerged as the leading organization in the campaign against marriage equality at the federal and state levels. NOM is behind multiple anti-gay ballot campaigns this year and heavily invested in past campaigns.

In Maine, NOM was involved in the push to overturn a same-sex marriage at the polls, but its campaign financing disclosures have raised questions and resulted in state scrutiny.

On March 26, some NOM internal documents were unsealed in the state, including a confidential report to the NOM board of directors outlining the effort to divide and conquer.

Another passage in the documents read, “The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity – a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”

NOM’s stated strategy also is to portray Barack Obama as a “social radical” on “side issues” such as “pornography.”

HRC, with its posting of the documents, promised “much more to come.”

NAACP chairman emeritus Julian Bond responded to the news of the documents with a statement: “NOM’s underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination. Pitting bigotry’s victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together.”

NOM’s Brian Brown also released a statement: “The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was formed in 2007 and has worked extensively with supporters of traditional marriage from every color, creed and background. We have worked with prominent African-American and Hispanic leaders, including Dr. Alveda C. King, Bishop George McKinney of the COGIC Church, Bishop Harry Jackson and the New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz Sr., all of whom share our concern about protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right, but the voices of these and many other leaders have provided powerful witness that this claim is patently false. Gay marriage is not a civil right, and we will continue to point this out in written materials such as those released in Maine. We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.”

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