HRC exposes NOM’s confidential strategy documents


Staff Reports

The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday said it has obtained a series of documents marked “confidential” that outlined the National Organization for Marriage’s multi-year plan to stop marriage equality in the United States.

As part of a continuing investigation by the state of Maine, the court-ordered disclosure shows NOM fighting a losing battle with strategy and tactics that are racially and ethnically divisive, filled with false political calculations, and out of touch with the majority of fair-minded Americans, said the HRC, in a statement.

In one of the documents, titled “NOM Deposition Exhibit 25: National Organization for Marriage Board Update 2008-2009” these passages appear:

  • The strategic goal…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…
  • 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.

“Nothing beats hearing from the horse’s mouth exactly how callous and extremist this group really is,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

“Such brutal honesty is a game changer, and this time NOM can’t spin and twist its way out of creating an imagined rift between LGBT people and African Americans or Hispanics,” he said.

The documents detail NOM’s goals, including “2010 Priority: Roll Back Gay Marriage in New Hampshire, Iowa, and D.C.” and “keeping gay marriage controversial in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut.”

In NOM Deposition Exhibit 12, the group noted that it plans to spend $100,000 on a “study of what schools are teaching in gay marriage/civil union regimes.”

“These documents confirm my worst beliefs about NOM’s cynical politicking,” said Jeremy Hooper, editor and publisher of Good As You and an “NOM Exposed” partner. “It’s hard to find joy in such divisive political games, but I’m certainly glad we know NOM’s hurtful plans now before more folks are hurt.”

Brian Brown

Gay marriage is not a civil right,” said NOM President Brian Brown, in a statement Tuesday, responding to the document disclosure:

“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.”

The disclosure comes following a formal investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission into NOM’s fundraising tactics in late 2009, which was based on an initial complaint filed by Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate, now a GOP presidential candidate.

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