Thursday, June 30, 2011

How NOM lost in New York - 'race-baiting' and 'gay recruiting'

The site Equality Matters took a good look at just how the National Organization for Marriage lost its fight against marriage equality in New York.

Basically it comes down to this - the organization got lazy, cocky, and used the same deceptive tactics which helped it gain a victory in Maryland and a partial victory in Rhode Island (I say partial because Rhode Island just passed civil unions), including:

Promoting Anti-Gay Propaganda

Spreading propaganda and misinformation has always been a centerpiece of NOM’s anti-equality strategy, and things were no different in New York. In early May, NOM announced that it would be spending $500,000 on an “ad and lobbying campaign to oppose same-sex marriage in New York.”
Public Schools

Unsurprisingly, NOM relied heavily on the myth that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry would result in children being forced to learn about homosexuality and same-sex relationships in school. In one thirty-second television spot, NOM warns “legalizing gay marriage has consequences for kids.

NOM also flooded New York homes with mailer ads claiming that supporters of marriage equality were looking to “poison young minds” and “forever change the innocence of
our kids:"


Working With Anti-Gay Hate Groups

NOM wasn’t working alone in New York; the organization partnered with New Yorker’s for Constitutional Freedom (NYCF) and its affiliated ministry, New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation (NYFRF), both of which have histories of relying on vile and hateful misinformation to smear the LGBT community.

NOM proudly worked with these groups to co-sponsor the “Summer for Marriage RV Tour,” which culminated in the “Mayday for Marriage” rally in Albany on May 24th (which both NOM and NYCF also co-sponsored). NYFRF provided its supporters with a number of different resources for use during the “Mayday for Marriage” Sunday, including “sermon starters” which claimed that homosexuality is “perverted and twisted” and will cause “the destruction of your immortal soul.”

The group has also likened marriage equality to child abuse, claimed to be attempting to save people like State Sen. Tom Duane, who is gay, from “an eternity in Hell,” and has asserted that the real “enemy” in the fight over marriage equality is Satan.

During the final days of the Senate’s session, NYCF began pushing widely discredited “ex-gay” therapy, even inviting “ex-gay activist” Anthony Falzarano to speak in Albany about how he was able to leave “the gay lifestyle.”

The “Mayday for Marriage” rally itself served as a platform from which religious and community leaders could spread their anti-gay messages. Speakers at the rally argued that those who practice homosexuality are worthy of “death” and claimed that gay people are “enchained and enslaved by homosexuality,” all while NOM’s Brown was in attendance.

The group American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) also played a large role in the rally, heading the professional march to the rally location and leading the crowd in song throughout the event. TFP has also actively promoted the idea that gays can “change” their sexual orientation and called marriage equality “morally wrong, sinful, and offensive to God.”

And then comes my personal favorite: 

Playing The “Race Card”

NOM is no stranger to using race as a wedge issue to gin up opposition to marriage equality. In fact, depicting marriage equality as a whites vs. non-whites issues has become a key part of the organization’s “public relations strategy.” 

In Maryland, the group frequently played the “race card” in order to motivate members of the black religious community to oppose a marriage equality bill earlier this year. This tactic ended up playing a crucial role in eventually killing the bill, with a number of delegates clearly bristling at attempts to compare the struggle for marriage equality to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

In New York, NOM’s strategy was no different. Racial minorities were quickly pushed to the forefront of NOM’s anti-equality efforts. The organization even produced a video asking “Will the Black Church Rise Up in New York for Marriage?”:

Does this video piss you off? I hope it does. It pisses me off. That's why I watch it at least twice a week.  Those who read this blog probably noticed a while back that my focus on NOM intensified. It's because of NOM's tactic of playing the lgbt and African-American community against one another - most specifically how they did it in Maryland to defeat marriage equality. It has to do with the words of one black Maryland delegate:

Del. Emmett C. Burns -  "Those who want to ride on our coattails are historically incorrect; gay people had not endured the struggles of blacks, had not had crosses burned on their lawns or been thrown in a police wagon."

Burns later demanded that the gay community show him its Selma, AL (alluding one of the battlegrounds of he 1960s civil rights movement as a way to again claim that lgbtqs have not suffered enough to gain equality).

I was at McDonalds reading the tweets when he said this and, God help for because I hate to admit this, but I cried.There were so many reasons why I became upset at Burns's words that I can't begin to break them down to you. Sometimes there is a certain hurt someone can put on you that can never be described by words.

I don't like being put into a situation like that.

Needless to say, NOM gained a very crucial enemy that day - me.

you and I have only begun to dance.

But consider the following link to be the first salvo:

LISTEN: Alvin McEwen on Social Media to Discredit Religious Bigotry

Sample comment - "The black church is one of the greatest institutions in the world but it is also one of the most hypocritical, lying institutions in the world."

Bookmark and Share


Jay said...

"Sometimes there is a certain hurt someone can put on you that can never be described by words."

So true. These bastards are spiritual terrorists. They know nothing (or care nothing) about glbtq history and the big and small examples of cruelty and injustice experienced by gay people of all races.

Tom Ardans said...

We are 'redefining' marriage the same way abolitionists 'redefined' humanity. It's painful to see Black people support prejudice.