The National Organization for Marriage is sticking with its belief that the country stands opposed to marriage equality, regardless of its losses last week or the very clear polling trend over the past two years showing a majority of the country supports the freedom to marry. In an interview on PBS NewsHour, NOM’s cultural director Thomas Peters argued to moderator Ray Suarez that NOM will always be right and never back down — no matter how minds may change — and that the group is actually optimistic moving forward:
SUAREZ: Aren’t you standing on shifting sand? Given the momentum of the polls, given the momentum of the legal challenges, the losses in various federal appellate courts, the changes in various state laws, maybe you’ll win tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, but are you fighting against an inevitability?
PETERS: No, for two important reasons. First of all, I believe in the truth of my pro-marriage views, just as the other side does, and people who have those deep-seated convictions don’t look at the changing tides wherever they may be. They fight for what’s true and what’s right. Second of all, I think it’s amazing with all of the cultural forces tying to redefine marriage that we’re still here in 2012 just barely seeing some footholds gained in deep blue states. I think the future of the marriage movement is bright and ultimately I don’t believe history moves in one direction.
NOM has been repeatedly claiming that it only lost because it was outspent, but Peters’ claims ignore the reality of the situation. Though anti-gay groups may ignore changing tides, LGBT groups pay very close attention, which is why they shifted messaging tactics this year and had more success as a result. NOM relied on its same-old scare tactics, which local newspapers significantly debunked — not so dependent a “truth” as Peter claims.
Plenty of evidence suggests NOM is anything but optimistic. They plan to appeal more to people’s faith, because their “traditional marriage” arguments are not sufficing. They are going to blackmail equality-supporting companies by stoking anti-gay hostilities in Middle East countries. The group has also admitted that most of its financial support is “superficial” and that they are struggling to attract more grassroots support. These tactics all point to desperation, not optimism. That’s not to say there will never be another setback for equality, but NOM is clearly losing the so-called “culture war,” whatever its skewed polling and stubborn-minded spokespeople might suggest.