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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 1, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 40
HRC seeks to expose NOM
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HRC seeks to expose NOM

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The HRC (Human Rights Campaign) announced on September 28 that it was launching 'The NOM Project' to monitor 'the ongoing political work and propaganda of NOM [National Organization for Marriage] as it attempts to influence elections and legislative campaigns across the country.'

According to the HRC's media release, the centerpiece of their new campaign will be 'a live, interactive website which reveals NOM's deep anti-Gay affiliations, its long connections to the Mormon and Catholic churches and its quest to keep voters in the dark about its financing.'

The website - NOMexposed.org - will be run in collaboration with the Courage Campaign.

NOM was founded in 2007 and gained national attention when it intervened in the unsuccessful campaign to amend the Massachusetts constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The next year, NOM actively supported the successful Prop 8 in California, and in 2009 it led the successful drive to pass Proposition 1 in Maine.

NOM has filed suit to be able to conceal its list of Proposition 1 donors, in violation of Maine's public disclosure laws.

NOM was also active in the Referendum 71 campaign. According to the NOMexposed website:

'NOM donated $10,000 to Referendum 71.

'The same day that NOM filed its lawsuit in Maine, a group called the Family PAC, a front group for the Family Policy Institute of Washington, filed a lawsuit against Washington's campaign finance rules. Family PAC noted that it had 'substantial contributions' it wanted to accept for the campaign but could not due to the restrictions.

'That case is ongoing.

'The Family Policy Institute of Washington donated 98% of the Vote Reject on R-71 funds.'

NOMexposed has similar state-by-state breakdowns for 24 states and the District of Columbia.

The site also features a 'Rogues Gallery' of 16 prominent leaders and supporters of NOM, with bios for each one.

'NOM and its leaders project a message of tolerance yet NOM Exposed shows that behind the well-trained talking points is an anti-Gay animus and moneyed connections that it is loath to reveal,' explained Joe Solmonese, HRC president, in a media release.

'This website is not static.' Solmonese explained. 'Working with the Courage Campaign, we will be watching the campaign trail and documenting NOM's political buys and bedfellows. We will connect the dots for voters.'

Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs said in the joint media release, 'With a majority of Americans and a growing number of conservatives now standing up for equality, NOM Exposed takes this important work a step further by bringing to light the nefarious connections, shadowy finances, and dubious ethics at the heart of NOM's brand of political extremism.'

Courage Campaign is a California-based human rights organization. Their most recent project has been the 'NOM Tour Tracker' which documented the largely unsuccessful NOM bus tour through the Midwest.

In addition to the state-by-state archive of information and dossiers on NOM leaders, NOMexposed features a blog where the latest NOM activities can be tracked.

According to the HRC/Courage Campaign press release, national LGBT leaders will contribute guest posts to the blog with their own research and experiences with NOM.

Freedom to Marry, which organized the Summer For Marriage bus tour in response to the NOM tour, posted the inaugural guest on September 28.

'The people we most need to connect with are not the hard-core opponents behind NOM, but, rather the reachable-but-not-yet-reached in our own circles, those who do not share NOM's political agenda or prejudice, but still have doubts and discomfort they need help rising above,' the Freedom to Marry post said.

'Person to person, group to group, we need to talk to them about our lives, why marriage matters, and the values of fairness and justice we share that ultimately lead to support for the freedom to marry.'

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