NOM’s Illinois Campaign: Race-Bait And Fundraise

An Illinois Family Institute rally NOM didn't help organize.

The National Organization for Marriage has been largely absent from the marriage equality fight in Illinois, allowing the rhetoric of the hate group-designated Illinois Family Institute to dominate. Still, NOM has not been totally silent, repeatedly using the impending vote as an opportunity to fundraise. The only activity they boast, aside from Jennifer Roback Morse’s testimony during a hearing back  in February, is robocalls featuring African-American pastors, on which they’ve apparently spent $125,000.

The tactic is a reminder of NOM’s ever-present effort to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by co-opting the language of “civil rights.” This argument did not convince state Rep. LaShawn Ford (D), a member of the Illinois House Black Caucus, who endorsed marriage equality this week, applauding how “the gay and lesbian community has taken a page from the Civil Rights Movement.”  Morse, in a post published Tuesday at The Christian Post, called out lawmakers like Ford as “Judas,” and suggested they would not longer be welcome in their pastors’ churches:

These pastors are the constituents of the African American legislators whom the gay lobby is counting on to change their votes. These pastors will speak out against pro gay marriage politicians and will not allow them to speak in their churches. […]

But the last legislators to come out at the final hour to dismantle the only institution we have that connects children with their parents are going to be very conspicuous. They will stand out as the ones who made gay marriage possible in Illinois. Their constituents, their neighbors, their fellow parishioners are entitled to ask them one very pointed question.

What did they give you, Judas?

The thesis of Morse’s post is that marriage equality is not inevitable, and yet everything about NOM’s tactics imply they know the exact opposite is true. A one-tactic campaign of threatening lawmakers with excommunication from their churches as a ploy for their own fundraising suggests they had no intention of winning in Illinois. And as Jeremy Hooper noticed, this week’s fundraising email seeking “to defeat gay-marriage activists” — as opposed to the more polished “defend traditional marriage” rhetoric of yore — further demonstrates that NOM is sloppy and uncommitted to the Illinois fight, trying to just glean from it what they can before they lose.