Official documents from the National Organization for Marriage, uncovered by the Human Rights Campaign, reveal that the anti-LGBT group has been actively interested in – as they say – "fanning the hostility" (p.12) between the LGBT community and the black community.
These documents, unsealed as part of a court case NOM is fighting in Maine, also reveal that the group has been attempting to turn Latino families against marriage equality by framing the LGBT movement as part of – in their words – “assimilation.”
NOM is the most well-represented group on GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project (#glaadCAP), with five associated figures (Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher, Christopher Plante, Jennifer Roback Morse, Robert George) among those anti-LGBT activists with profiles. It is now clear that distinction is well deserved.
Via HRC’s NOM Exposed project, here are two passages from the 2008-09 report to the NOM Board of Directors:
“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…”
"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? 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."
These documents reveal a critical context to so much of the media work that NOM has done over the past several years.
Why did NOM’s Maggie Gallagher refer to California Attorney General Jerry Brown as a “White Liberal” in this 2008 statement? Now we know that it was part of their divisive strategy to create hostility between the LGBT community and black community.
Why did NOM RI’s Chris Plante and CBN focus so much of this interview on the opposition to marriage from “the Hispanic Churches?” Now we know it was an attempt to paint marriage equallity supporters as being dangerous "assimilators."
“While the rest of the country is focusing on the values of fairness and justice for everyone, NOM is trying to tear our communities apart, or 'drive a wedge' as they call it,” said Herndon Graddick, GLAAD’s Vice President of Programs and Communications. “That’s un-American. Kudos to HRC for uncovering NOM's cynical attempt to exploit communities of color in order to further its goal to deprive equal protections to LGBT Americans."
Former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond also weighed in on the controversay saying:
"NOM's underhanded attempts to divide will not succeed if Black Americans remember their own history of discrimination," said the statement from Bond, a former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Pitting bigotry's victims against other victims is reprehensible; the defenders of justice must stand together."
Every single statement that NOM has ever made – and will ever make from this point forward – regarding marriage and the Latino community, marriage and the African American community, or marriage and any other community now needs to be seen in a very different light. NOM has spent several years purposely trying to “(fan) the hostility” towards the LGBT community from these communities and vice versa without being held accountable.
The documents also revealed that NOM has been looking for celebrities who are glamorous, but (in NOM's own words) "Non-Cognitive" to represent their side. Read more about that revelation here.
Thanks to these documents, all of the communities impacted by these insidious and divisive tricks know exactly who they’re dealing with. Now it’s the media’s responsibility to hold NOM accountable.