Top 10 Highlights From NOM’s Race-Wedging, Donor-Hiding, Victim-Playing Confidential Strategies

The fallout has begun from the National Organization for Marriage’s failed attempt to circumvent Maine’s campaign finance disclosure laws. The Human Rights Campaign has published four of NOM’s confidential strategic memos from 2009, which explicitly confirm many of the insidious tactics LGBT bloggers have been documenting for years. Most alarming from the memos is NOM’s admission that it has tried “to drive a wedge between gays and blacks” and also specifically targeted Latino groups with its messaging.

Here are some of the highlights of NOM’s tactics found in the new documents:

  1. “Drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by convincing them to fight over the language of “civil rights.”
  2. Bait Latino voters to oppose marriage equality as “a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”
  3. Interrupt the “attempt to equate…sexual orientation with race” so that marriage inequality is not perceived as discrimination.
  4. Draw attention to the “bigotry and intolerance” displayed by equality advocates and “document the victims” through a rapid response media team.
  5. Emphasize the importance of “religious liberties” to limit the impact of marriage equality’s legislative advancements.
  6. “Develop side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders” like pornography, “protection of children” and religious liberty at the federal level.
  7. Expose Obama administration programs that “have the effect of sexualizing young children” or threatening “childhood innocence.”
  8. “Find, train, and equip young leaders” to become a “next generation of elites” capable of opposing marriage equality.
  9. Foster closer relationships with Catholic bishops to “equip, energize, and moralize Catholic priests on the marriage issue.”
  10. Focus on “the consequences of gay marriage for parental rights.”

In addition, one of the memos confides, “most of the world may never know the crucial role that NOM played in the Prop 8 campaign.” In fact, throughout the memos, NOM emphasizes its intent to infuse large sums of money into various state-level campaigns in ways that circumvent donor disclosure.

None of these revelations is particularly surprising, as they have all been quite evident, but to see them in writing is nevertheless distressing. That NOM explicitly thought about the way it could divide and conquer racial groups and scare conservatives into protecting their religious liberty demonstrates just how motivated the organization is by animus against the advancement of the LGBT community.

Check back for more in-depth analysis of these documents and NOM’s treacherous tactics to oppose the freedom to marry.


Expanded coverage of NOM’s strategy memos can be found in these supplemental posts: