Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The smoking NOM

Like many others, I’ve long said that our opponents in the anti-gay industry are unscrupulous, amoral liars, willing to stoop to any low to achieve their far right agenda. There is no tactic beneath them, nor anything so crass and craven that they wouldn’t do it. We’ve all known that, but we couldn’t prove it.

Until now.

The Human Rights Campaign has published documents recently unsealed in Maine. Those documents were part of that state’s investigation into the National Organization for “Marriage” and its spending on the campaign to repeal marriage equality in that state. The documents make sobering reading.

In a confidential memo to the board of NOM:
“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…”
NOM cynically and calculatingly used black people to incite racist reactions in white GLBT activists in order to create antagonism between the two groups: Divide and conquer.

After California’s infamous Proposition 8 was passed, proponents kept touting the fact that African Americans had “overwhelmingly” voted in favour of repealing marriage equality in California; that seemed to be a curious thing to harp on since they were a minority of the votes overall. But I saw what they were up to more than three years ago, and while I don’t want to say I told you so, well, I friggin’ told you so!

The documents also reveal that NOM planned to target Hispanics, whom they assumed were all socially conservative and religiously conservative. Apparently they don’t know very many Hispanic politicians, who are overwhelmingly NOT far rightwing (a few notable nutjobs notwithstanding).

They also planned to find and develop “aspirational” role models, people that other people wanted to be like, to counter the overwhelming number of pro-equality celebrities. That would have been a clever strategy if they hadn’t immediately seized Carrie “Lady Fingers” Prejean as a conservative role model. Oops.

Of all the tactics they outlined, the ones that have worked the best for them have been driving that wedge between GLBT and African American communities, and also demonising both GLBT people as people, and homosexuality in general.

As Good As You has documented, NOM’s most favoured tactic of all has been race-baiting. Even so, I don’t expect to see any Republican politicians publicly distancing themselves from NOM—even though it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’ve well and truly earned their SPLC designation as a hate group.

As truly awful as NOM and its cynical campaign of manipulation are, there’s one thing that to me is even worse: The documents clearly show that they intended to take their hate campaign global. They specifically mentioned the UK, which leads me to wonder if they’re behind stories of supposed “Christians” being supposedly “victimised”, supposedly because of their religious beliefs. That sort of tactic is mentioned in their documents. Even if they’re not behind that, who the hell do they think they are, exporting their bigotry and hatred around the world?

I would like to think that this would be the beginning of the end for NOM, but it won’t be: Hatred and bigotry are strong forces. But just maybe a more rational conservative will hear about all this and steer clear of NOM, maybe they even might begin questioning everything the anti-gay industry says and does. If so, then NOM’s evil may ultimately have a redeeming quality after all.

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