Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Agenda Revealed

“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…"

-From a confidential, internal National Organization for Marriage (NOM) memo, referring to a NOM endeavor entitled "Not a Civil Right Project."

This revelation, of course, has long been obvious to many equality advocates, including myself, for many years. White opponents of same-sex marriage, most of whom rarely talk about race in any other context, appear to take a certain glee in citing their Best Conservative Black Friends who are Gravely Offended at comparisons between race-based and sexual-orientation-based oppression.

It's affirming, nonetheless, to see NOM admit to its divisive agenda in print.

This admission comes from a strategic report that was unsealed as part of Maine's ongoing campaign finance investigation of the group. The pro-equality Human Rights Campaign (HRC) initially posted the documents, and the release quickly spread on the Internet yesterday.

Other strategies outlined in the document include "interrupt[ing" the analogy that being gay is like being black, "rais[ing] the costs of identifying with gay marriage," and to "develop an effective culture of resistance from behind enemy lines."

Every single project and action item in the document pertains to same-sex marriage and constitutes millions of dollars worth of activities.

I find this monomania, frankly, to be incredibly troubling and threatening to my existence as a lesbian in a same-sex partnership that is legally recognized.

In his book, The Future of Marriage, David Blankenhorn outlined dozens of concrete steps that married couples and the government could take to strengthen marriage including mandating counseling, ending marriage penalties for low-income people, and passing new laws offering tax and financial incentives for marriage.

One is led to wonder, if NOM's mission is, as it claims, to "protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it," why does every. single. activity. documented in this strategic memo relate solely to NOM's efforts to oppose same-sex marriage and to get other people to oppose same-sex marriage?

Do other strategies to protect marriage matter at all?

Now, what I'm about to suggest is not politically correct for progressives to utter aloud in mixed company with social conservative, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

If this, dare I say, obsessive activity to oppose same-sex marriage, as represented by millions upon millions of dollars spent, countless robocalls made, social media utilized, billboard and media campaigns created, minority groups pitted against one another, narratives told wherein SSM opponents are "victims," blogposts and press releases written, and voter (lack of) interest in the same-sex marriage issue stoked is not evidence of animus toward LGBT people, what is it evidence of?

Does an organization that is truly serious about wanting to protect marriage behave like this?

This gathering storm of single-minded opposition to same-sex marriage is simply not, to many reasonable people, a logical response to the "threat" posed by the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.


Marinelli: NOM Sought "Crazy" Pictures of Equality Advocates

Cross-posted: Family Scholars Blog

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