Saturday, October 29, 2011

How NOM wins - Creating doubt and fear about children

The National Organization has a mantra which it likes to repeat. It goes like this:

"When the people lend their voice to the issue of marriage by voting, they will stand up for traditional marriage every time."

At first glance, NOM does have a point. The track record is on their side because when people have voted in referendums on the subject of marriage equality, they have rejected it.

However, as the old saying goes, the devil is always in the details. The end result is all that matters, not what shaded, dirty, and underhanded things it took to get the end result.

And in the case of NOM, this is definitely true. Question One, a documentary about how NOM aided in defeating marriage equality in Maine in 2009, thoroughly points that out:

[Marc] Mutty, who took leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine to help lead the campaign to overturn the Legislature’s 2009 law legalizing same-sex marriage, granted the filmmakers nearly unrestricted access in the “Yes on 1″ war room.

Mutty, featured prominently in a production shot over the three months leading up to the election, is interviewed during the campaign and at home. He appears as a reluctant participant in the campaign. He expresses discomfort with the tactics deployed by Schubert Flint, a California public relations firm hired by the National Organization for Marriage.

Mutty, who said he had to step outside of himself to run the campaign, is shown telling volunteers that their message need not convince people they were right about the issue.

“All we have to do is create doubt,” he said.

And how do they create doubt? Simply by claiming that marriage equality is damaging to the family, especially the children:

However, Mutty grows increasingly troubled by Schubert Flint television ads stating that gay marriage will lead to homosexuality being taught in public schools.

“We all use a lot of hyperbole and I think that’s always dangerous,” Mutty said. “You know, we say things like ‘Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)! Well, that’s not completely accurate and we all know it, you know?”

In other words - and these are words which need to be repeated consistently and continuously - when people vote against marriage equality, it's not because they are standing up for traditional marriage. It's usually because organizations like NOM make them fear that gays are trying to corrupt their children.

It's nothing new or original. And it's certainly not noble. It's the same homophobic game Anita Bryant played in 70s when she led the charge against gay rights in Florida - i.e. if gays get equality, they are going to want your children next.

If you aren't convinced by my words, allow the following montage of NOM flyers to prove my point:

The only thing about "traditional" about NOM's tactics is how those without an clear cut argument always stoop to lies and fear mongering.

My fellow blogger Jeremy Hooper pretty much nails what we must do to combat this mess:

 . . . if we are going to win, we are going to have to become even better about knowing groups like NOM better than they know their own efforts. And I don't mean just know them in an anecdotal, "Yeah, yeah, they talk about school books -- now can we go have a cocktail?" sort of way: I mean we must truly KNOW what the organized marriage opposition movement is doing in this country to stop or chip away at our existing rights, as well as UNDERSTAND how and why they are doing it. 

Related post:

NOM exploiting children to stop gay marriage in New York

NOM President Claims Marriage Equality Will “Normalize Pedophilia”

NOM Still Promoting Bogus Link Between Pedophilia And Homosexuality

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Scout said...

Those political posters are horrific. :( I'm appalled that they could go so low. This really is pandering to the worst kind of prejudice.

Infidel753 said...

Well, it's traditional in a way. Remember the blood libels about Jews killing non-Jewish babies for their rituals, which were used to stir up anti-Semitic hatred in Europe centuries ago (and in some Islamic countries today). Making people afraid for their children is an effective demonization tactic.

If people were able to assess threats to their children realistically, they would vote to ban Catholic priests.

The only way to fight this is by normalization. The more people know one or two gay people personally, the harder it will be to convince them that gays are monsters.