By CLIFF DUNN
AUGUSTA, ME – According to confidential strategy documents made public last week, officials with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) considered a plan to manipulate Latino and black groups—two core constituencies within the Democratic Party—into political opposition against LGBT rights organizations in general, and gay marriage in particular. The strategy also called for the recruitment of children in same-sex families in an effort to coax admissions from them on video of familial unhappiness.
The memos, which were released by court order on March 26, detail a well conceived strategy for manipulating Hispanic and African American opinions into opposing marriage equality for LGBT persons. They also suggest connecting marriage equality to unpopular topics including pornography.
The documents portray the Democratic Party leadership as “increasingly inclined to privilege the concerns of gay rights groups over the values of African-Americans,” presaging the strategy to play upon cultural differences.
One memo urges gay marriage opponents to “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 strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks–two key Democratic constituencies,” reads another of the NOM memoranda. The memo also lays out a social engineering scheme to “interrupt” the assimilation of Hispanics into mainstream American culture as a means of fracturing Latino support for marriage equality.
“Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?” posited one of the court released NOM memos. “We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity,” adding that this would become for Hispanic Americans “a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”
NOM’s memos also outline a strategy in which President Barack Obama would be depicted as a “social radical.”
The documents and memorandum were unsealed by Maine court officials as part of a legal challenge to the state’s financial disclosure laws. The courts must also determine whether NOM, the nation’s largest opponent of same sex marriage, must release the names of donors to its 2009 campaign that successfully banned gay marriage in the Pine Tree State.
“With the veil lifted, Americans everywhere can now see the ugly politics that the National Organization for Marriage traffics in every day,” said Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT rights organization.
“While loving gay and lesbian couples seek to make lifelong commitments, NOM plays racial politics, tries to hide donors and makes up lies about people of faith,” added Solmonese.
Julian Bond, the former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also denounced NOM’s strategy.
“NOM’s underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination,” condemned Bond, a veteran of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. “Pitting bigotry’s victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together.”
Brian Brown, the president of NOM, refused to back down from his organization’s opposition to marriage equality for all Americans. “Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right,” said Brown. “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,” Brown added.
“We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.”
Same-sex marriage supporters have gotten the issue placed on Maine’s November ballot. Although the court-released documents contain detailed information on NOM’s Maine campaign, they do not list the names of financial donors, among them three who contributed over one million dollars each in 2009 to defeat gay marriage.