NOM Doubles Down On Race-Wedging And Confirms Its Use

NOM's Brian Brown

The National Organization for Marriage’s confidential 2009 memos released last night have created quite a stir for the blatant way they sought to divide racial communities over the issue of same-sex marriage. Now, NOM President Brian Brown has responded to the controversy by invoking the exact same race-wedging strategy outlined in the documents:

BROWN: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was formed in 2007 and has worked extensively with supporters of traditional marriage from every color, creed and background. We have worked with prominent African-American and Hispanic leaders, including Dr. Alveda C. King, Bishop George McKinney of the COGIC Church, Bishop Harry Jackson and the New York State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz Sr., all of whom share our concern about protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right, but the voices of these and many other leaders have provided powerful witness that this claim is patently false. Gay marriage is not a civil right, and we will continue to point this out in written materials such as those released in Maine. We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.

Everything in this statement confirms the strategy of using people of color as spokespeople and using the language of “civil rights” as a catalyst for division. The freedom to marry is a civil right, crucial to same-sex families’ ability to pursue life, liberty, and happiness just as all families do. The mere fact that NOM brags about its affiliation with vitriolic equality opponents like Harry Jackson and Rubén Díaz proves just how low the organization will sink to plant the seeds of anti-gay animosity throughout communities of color.

This is not an apology. This is not damage control. This is an acknowledgment — NOM taking complete ownership of its insidious tactics.


While the story of NOM’s confidential documents has gotten traction throughout much of mainstream media, Maggie Gallagher offered only a brief response, attempting to sound unfazed:

It’s always amusing to watch the media go to work to generate a non-story. In this case, it’s about “secret” documents that show NOM reaches out to black and Latino churches to fight gay marriage.

NOM’s response is here.

Mine is: Must be a slow news day over at BuzzFeed.

That “non-story” informed not just one, but six posts here at ThinkProgress today, with probably more to come. Gallagher might want everybody to believe there’s nothing here, but that doesn’t mean she’s right. (HT: Jeremy Hooper.)

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