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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 30, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 13
NOM plays the race card - Project aims to 'drive a wedge between Gays and blacks'
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NOM plays the race card - Project aims to 'drive a wedge between Gays and blacks'

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

NOM operatives have cooked up a secret strategy to pit the Gay and African American communities against each other, according to internal NOM documents published by HRC on March 26.

The documents, written for the NOM board in 2009, were acquired from NOM as part of the ongoing investigation by the State of Maine into the group's campaign finances.

The NOM documents reveal that the organization has a highly developed strategic plan and a global outlook.

'Gay marriage is the tip of the spear, the weapon that will be and is being used to marginalize and repress Christianity and the Church,' one document said.

Emphasizing its special relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, NOM says it will use its 'close relationships with Catholic bishops to equip, energize, and moralize Catholic priests on the marriage issue.'

'Marriage needs to be a national (and ultimately international) effort, not just a local or regional issue,' says one document.

Another refers to an 'International Organization for Marriage' and says, 'The movement for Gay marriage is global. The counterrevolution protecting marriage needs to have a similar reach. We need to take what we have learned about winning marriage battles in the U.S. and assist groups fighting marriage battles in other nations.'

NOM's strategists said they needed 'to accomplish a sophisticated cultural objective: interrupt the attempt to equate Gay with black, and sexual orientation with race. We need to make traditional sexual morality intellectually respectable again in elite culture. And we need to give liberals an alternative way of thinking about Gay rights issues, one that does not lead to the misuse of the power of government to crush dissent in the name of fighting discrimination.'

To advance the group's agenda, NOM operatives created what they called the 'Not a Civil Right' project.

'The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between Gays and blacks - two key Democratic constituencies,' a document said.

'Find, equip, energize, and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to Gay marriage as a civil right; [and] provoke the Gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.'

The Latino community was also targeted.

'The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?' the document continued.

'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.'

President Obama is explicitly targeted in NOM's strategy documents, and defeating him in 2012 is said to be a requirement for victory on the marriage front.

NOM called the defeat of President Obama the 'American Principles Project.'

'Expose Obama as a social radical,' a NOM document said, spelling out the tactics they hoped to use to ruin his presidency.

'Develop side issues to weaken pro-Gay marriage political leaders and parties and develop an activist base of socially conservative voters. Raise such issues as pornography, protection of children, and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty at the federal level.'

NOM did not deny that the memos were theirs or that they did, in fact, represent the group's strategic plans. In a March 27 statement, NOM President Brian Brown bragged about his alliances with anti-Gay people of color.

'We have worked with prominent African-American and Hispanic leaders, including Dr. Alveda C. King, Bishop George McKinney of the COGIC Church, Bishop Harry Jackson, and the New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz Sr., all of whom share our concern about protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman,' Brown said.

'We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds, and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.'

Progressive activists reacted with disgust to the revelations.

Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of People for the American Way Foundation's African American Ministers Leadership Council, released a statement on behalf of the Council's Equal Justice Task Force calling NOM's wedge strategies 'deeply cynical' and 'deeply offensive.'

'I celebrate as more and more African American clergy engage in AAMLC's Healing Grace dialogues and work to confront and overcome stigma, prejudice, and homophobia in the black church. We continually seek to help and not harm, love and not hate, reconcile and not separate, unite and not divide - and it's working,' Malachi said.

'NOM's underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if black Americans remember their own history of discrimination. Pitting bigotry's victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together,' said African American activist and former NAACP chair Julian Bond.

Calling the documents 'despicable,' Freedom to Marry head Evan Wolfson accused NOM of trying to 'discredit the strong and clear voice of those African-American civil rights champions, such as John Lewis, Julian Bond, and Coretta Scott King, who have stood up for the freedom to marry and the equal civil rights of all people, including Gay people of color.' 'These smoking-gun documents show how NOM has sought, in the most cynical ways imaginable, to bait the Gay community in hopes of provoking a hurt response that would further divide, all in furtherance of the ugly and cruel anti-Gay agenda,' Wolfson added.

'Black folks, this is a message for you: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the country's preeminent group fighting against same-sex marriage, really, really likes you. They even want to make some of you famous!' mocked Southern Poverty Law Center spokesperson Mark Potok.

SPLC was originally an anti-Klan organization based in Atlanta. It has since expanded its mission to expose hate groups of all kinds. In 2010, SPLC listed NOM as an anti-Gay hate group.

'NOM isn't the first organization to use such cynical marketing ploys, schemes that seem to have little do with the interests of the people they claim to represent, and it certainly won't be the last,' Potok continued.

'But the revelation of its bald attempt to exploit black people and Latinos should help end the idea that NOM is an honorable group that would never engage in race-baiting. Because that is precisely what it has done.'

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