Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NOM's Secret Strategy: "Fanning the Hostility" Between Blacks and Gays // Edited to Add Brian Brown's and Maggie Gallagher's Responses

The National Organization for Marriage is in the midst of an investigation by the State of Maine. Amongst the information that they have released include confidential NOM reports where they reveal their strategy of driving wedges between black people and GLBT people:
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks -- two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect 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. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party. Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates and persuading the movement's allies that advocates are unacceptably overreaching on this issue. Consider pushing a marriage amendment in Washing D.C.; find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally.
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.
I've seen outrage by GLBT people and allies, as well as questions as to whether this will cause NOM's supporters to denounce them. It won't. At least, I will be shocked if NOM gets denounced or dropped by any of its supporters over this concerted effort to fan the flames of hostility between blacks, Hispanics, and GLBTs.

On the other hand, I think it’s important for marriage equality supporters to understand NOM’s tactics. There is a reason that Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown of NOM always complain about being called bigots even when they’re not being called bigots. There is a reason that they bring up civil rights and racial issues when discussing marriage, even when discussions of race were not previously broached.

The truth is that there are black and Hispanic people who approve of marriage equality, just like there are blacks and Hispanics who don’t. Check out this ABC “What Would You Do?” clip involving a bridal shop owner who refuses services for a bride-to-be once she learns that her wedding will be to another woman. Universally, all of the customers who witness this interaction speak up on behalf of the grieving bride-to-be, including two black women who break down into tears and literally reach out to the lesbian bride.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this story resolves itself.

Edited to Add: Brian Brown of NOM offered up the following response to revelations that NOM was all about "fanning the hostility" between blacks, Hispanics, and GLBTs:
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. Aveeda 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.
Edited to Add: Maggie Gallagher, former head of NOM, offered her own response about NOM getting caught "fanning the hostility" between blacks, Hispanics, and gays:
Must be a slow news day over at Buzzfeed.

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