The National Organization of Marriage (NOM) is best known for its looney anti-gay "gay marriage storm" commercial (over 1 million views), but new documents outlining the organization's clunky strategy to widen racial divides in order to defeat gay marriage may be their new claim to fame.
Late yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights group, obtained "internal NOM documents" that were part of an ongoing investigation by the State of Maine into financial activities by the organization. NOM apparently fought hard to keep those documents sealed, and in reading portions of one of the documents (a 34-page document entitled "The National Strategy for Winning the Marriage Battle") we understand why. Not only has this organization used ham-fisted approaches to attack the LGBT community, but there's textual evidence that they aren't afraid to use a ham-fisted approach to court black and Latino communities.
NOM's strategy for courting black voters is called the mildly-inappropriate, "Not a Civil Right" Project (picture right). It sounds like a riff of the popular Proposition 8 talking point where the passage of the anti-gay marriage bill was partially pinned to African American voters in California. "No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party," NOM writes, and adds in another passage obtained by the HRC: "Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage ... provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots." Setting up African American spokespersons as bigots is a solid strategy it seems. And when it comes to Latino voters, NOM wrote:
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.
We're sort of used to seeing sweeping generalizations of NOM when it comes to the LGBT community, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that sweeping generalizations about black and Latino communities is an integral part of their national strategy. We just didn't know that they would all be printed in a manual of sorts.
For the full set of documents, head on over to the HRC.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.