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GLAAD & HRC: NOM's racial division strategy not rooted in reality

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Today GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released statistics showing broad support for LGBT people among the African American as well as the Latino and Hispanic communities. The statistics were compiled after HRC released internal documents earlier this week from the National Organization for Marriage, the nation’s largest group working against marriage for gay and lesbian couples. The NOM documents revealed that the anti-gay organization was planning to attack equality by attempting to create racial divides. View NOM’s documents.

NOM’s documents detail the anti-gay organization’s active interest in "fanning the hostility" (p.12) between the LGBT community and the Black and Latino communities. After the documents were released, former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond called NOM's tactics "reprehensible.”

Recent studies show that NOM’s plan has not been successful, with a majority of African American, Latino and Hispanic people supporting LGBT Americans. 

A 2010 Bendixen & Amandi International poll found 74 percent of Latinos support marriage equality or other forms of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. Similarly, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released in March 2012 showed support for marriage equality among African Americans at 50 percent. A Field Poll of California voters released in February 2012 found that 53 percent of Latino and 50 percent of African-American respondents approved of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Support for the LGBT community extends beyond marriage equality. The Bendixen & Amandi International poll found that 83 percent of Latinos support housing and employment non-discrimination protections. A 2009 poll conducted by the Arcus Foundation found that 60 percent of African Americans support providing health care and pension benefits to LGBT couples.

Additional findings from 2010 Bendixen & Amandi International poll:

  • 74 percent of Latinos support marriage or similar legal recognitions for gay and lesbian couples
  • 80 percent of Latinos believe gay people often face discrimination
  • 83 percent of Latinos support housing and employment non-discrimination protections
  • 73 percent of Latinos support gays and lesbians serving openly in the military
  • 75 percent of Latinos support school policies to prevent harassment and bullying of students who are or are perceived to be gay
  • 68 percent of Latino Catholics believe being gay is morally acceptable and 69 percent of Latino Christians said that their religion is accepting of all people, including gay people

View more statistics and a document providing resources for conversations with Latinos and Hispanics on LGBT equality here.

Additional findings from the 2008 Arcus Foundation poll:

  • 80 percent of African Americans support hate crimes protections
  • 77 percent of African Americans support protection against job discrimination
  • 74 percent of African Americans are in favor of anti-housing discrimination laws
  • 60 percent of African Americans support health care and pension benefits for unmarried couples
  • 54 percent of African American survey respondents support allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military openly.

Read the full report here. 

The December 2008 Pulse of Equality poll by Harris Interactive found similar support for LGBT issues among Latinos.

“NOM and its leadership are growing increasingly desperate to remain viable as more and more people see the group for what it really is ­ a hotbed of unparalleled anti-gay hate,” said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLAAD. “Countless African American and Latino families have LGBT members. It is sad and ironic that an organization that says it supports family values would be strategizing about how to drive families apart.”

“This data makes you question what assumptions NOM’s leaders were using when they devised their strategy of trying to create unfounded wedges between LGBT communities and other minority groups,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “These numbers reflect the reality that

NOM is so desperately trying to hide ­ across age groups, across demographics, across regions of the country, and across religion, people are supporting LGBT equality in growing numbers.”

In the NOM plans, the organization stated it intended to “drive a wedge” between the gay and African American communities:

“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 also planned to use ‘fear of assimilation’ among Latino and Hispanics to alienate African American, Latino and Hispanic and LGBT communities:

“Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? 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.”

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