Despite all the incriminating language found within the confidential memos released this week, nothing has shone the National Organization for Marriage in a negative light quite like its intention to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by provoking “the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” Specifically, NOM points out that it wants to spotlight people of color who oppose the freedom to marry so that they receive the brunt of objection from equality activists.
In his fundraising email this week, NOM’s president Brian Brown offered a second response to the controversy — not by apologizing or taking any responsibility for the insidious tactics, but by spotlighting people of color who oppose the freedom to marry and provoking LGBT activists to call them bigots:
BROWN: Let me be the first to say that the tone of the language in that document as quoted by the press is inapt. Here’s something I know from the bottom of my soul: It would be enormously arrogant for anyone at NOM to believe that we can make or provoke African-American or Latino leaders do anything. The Black and Hispanic Democrats who stand up for marriage do so on principle—and get hit with a wave of vituperative attacks like nothing I have ever seen. We did not cause it, nor can we claim credit for these men and women’s courage in standing up in defense of our most fundamental institution: marriage.
To Joe Solmonese and the Human Rights Campaign and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry I would say: This is your movement. You are its leaders. Only you can hope to change the vicious attacks being made on Black and Hispanic Democrats (or white Republicans for that matter!) who don’t agree with you on gay marriage.
In addition, the email features a video of North Carolinians — almost all of whom are black — speaking in support of the discriminatory Amendment One, which bans all same-sex unions.
NOM’s gall in this matter is incredulous. There are no “vicious attacks” on any racial group coming from the LGBT movement, but opponents of equality are blatantly manipulating communities of color in an attempt to create a wedge. Even though this is now obvious from the memos and responses so far, it seems NOM has no intention of changing its tactics anytime soon.
Watch Julian Bond’s full conversation with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the controversy, in which the civil rights veteran points out that “we ought to be happy that other people, including gays and lesbians, and many other people have imitated the black movement for human rights”: