Fresh from its stinging loss in five states in last week’s election, the National Organization for Marriage has pledged to continue efforts to create backlash against companies that support marriage equality, by ensuring they pay a “price” in Middle Eastern countries that are hostile to gay rights.
The statements came during a NOM conference call last week, which the organization billed to its supporters as a discussion of the 2012 elections — which resulted in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, the defeat of an anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota, and the retention of a pro-gay marriage state Supreme Court Justice in Iowa.
Speaking on the topic of “what’s next in the fight to defend marriage,” NOM President Brian Brown said that the NOM was targeting the international business of companies that support same-sex marriage such as Starbucks and General Mills, according to a report, and audio captured, by The American Independent.
Starbucks publicly supported efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, and General Mills announced its opposition to the anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota.
Brown said the aim is to make these companies’ political stances known in countries in the Middle East and elsewhere that generally do not support same-sex marriage, or homosexuality in general.
The American Independent obtained an invitation to the conference call and dialed in.
“Their international outreach is where we can have the most effect,” Brown said. “So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this. These are not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India. So we have done some of this; we’ve got to do a lot more.”
Earlier this year, NOM announced a “Dump Starbucks” protest, promising to place ads throughout the United States and Southeast Asia, urging consumers to boycott the company.
In a statement at the time, Brown said that “DumpStarbucks.com online ads will also start running in Egypt, Beijing, Hong Kong, the Yunnan region of China, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.”
Brown also warned supporters of upcoming marriage fights in Delaware, Illinois, and Rhode Island, and of potential Supreme Court decisions concerning the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, and the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Brown said he believes the marriage equality wins will actually hurt gay-marriage advocates’ arguments in cases involving DOMA “because one of the arguments of the other side is that gays and lesbians are a suspect class, and that means that there’s some level of political powerlessness. That clearly is not the case.”
Additional audio from the call can be heard at The American Independent.