Confidential Memos Expose Anti-Gay Group’s Strategy

NOM’s internal documents reveal race-baiting campaigns against same-sex marriage

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has obtained confidential documents from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the anti-gay lobbying group, which reveal its race-pandering strategy for preventing or overturning marriage equality in certain states.

The documents were revealed March 26 during the course of a state investigation into NOM’s campaign finance activities in Maine, where the group has been active against a voter referendum reinstating same-sex marriage scheduled for November.

In describing its $5 million “Cultural Strategies” campaigns in a 2009 memo, NOM spells out its tactic of colluding with African-American and Latino leaders to disperse their anti-gay message.

The purpose of the “Not a Civil Right” Project targeting the African-American community, NOM states, “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…Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates…Find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally.”

NOM also planned to direct Latino leaders in emphasizing “traditional family values” to their communities. “Will the process of assimilation [of Latino communities] into the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?” NOM asked. “We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making the support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity—a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.” To do that, NOM sought “to identify glamorous young Latino and Latina leaders, especially artists, actors, musicians, athletes, writers and other celebrities willing to stand for marriage.”

NOM also targeted Ivy League students, intellectuals and potential political candidates to bolster the anti-equality message.

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