Thursday, October 20, 2011

NOM exploited the Civil Rights Movement in California case loss

More details are emerging from today's court case in California in which the National Organization for Marriage and the other organizations forming the group lost the bid to keep its donor identities secret.

And there is one detail which stands out. In its attempt to keep its donor list secret, compared itself to the NAACP during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

According to The Sacramento Bee:

Joe La Rue, a lawyer for the group (Protect, said in oral arguments today that those donors would remain exposed to harassment "so long as these names are perpetually kept on the state's website."

. . . California law requires the disclosure of the identity of anyone who contributes $100 or more to a campaign. said the $100 limit was too low, and it claimed it qualified for an exception to disclosure laws once granted by the U.S. Supreme Court to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Socialist Workers Party.

The article goes on to say that the judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Judge Morris England, Jr. was very skeptical about this:

The Socialist Workers Party involved relatively few people, he said, and belonging to the NAACP in the early 1950s "could cause you to be killed." In contrast, he said, Proposition 8 proponents not only enjoyed the support of millions of people, but prevailed in the election.

England's skepticism probably had to do with the evidence which was given to him as "proof" of harassment:

The judge read from a batch of declarations in which people claimed yard signs were stolen, that they received harassing phone calls, or, in one case, that people protested outside someone's business. "That's the extent of what happened," he said.

The article goes on to say even in the face of England's skepticism,'s lawyer continued to push the comparison, even bringing up segregation and "Jim Crow" laws.

So in the world of NOM, someone protesting your business or stealing your yard sign is the equivalent of getting shot to death in your front yard (Medgar Evers) or being beaten half bloody (Fannie Lou Hamer).

The irony of NOM's defense is stark when one takes into account how in New York, Maryland, and North Carolina, the organization used black pastors to claim the gay community is trying to "piggyback" on the struggles of African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.

It definitely proves that in this fight over marriage equality, there is exploitation of the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American community in general.

But it's not coming from the gay community.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: