The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is trying its best to capitalize on the resignation of Brendan Eich as Mozilla’s CEO following outcry over his financial support for Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. A new pledge to donate to NOM called “Keep The Republic & Marriage” urges supporters to publicly declare they oppose same-sex marriage to stand up to the bullying tactics of LGBT activists. Defending Eich, Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy, and anti-gay researcher Mark Regnerus, the pledge argues that opposing marriage equality is akin to opposing slavery:
Scholars, public figures, and average citizens who publically defend the institution of marriage as the conjugal union of one man and one woman often face character assassination and occasionally threats of physical violence. Facing similarly vicious attacks in the decades leading up to the Civil War, America’s abolitionists recalled the timeless insight that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The wisdom of these words applies as much today as then. If the calculated use of fear and intimidation is permitted to dominate this important public debate, America will lose not just the time-tested institution of marriage but also endanger our form of government which depends on the free and open exchange of ideas.
This is not the first time NOM has made such a comparison, but it’s the first time it has asked its supporters to sign on to such a claim. It echoes strategy documents leaked two years ago that NOM was hoping to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by encouraging African Americans to take umbrage when different forms of discrimination are compared.
Incidentally, NOM has launched a boycott of Firefox because the Mozilla developer community was insistent that a CEO that actively opposes marriage equality was not an appropriate leader, suggesting it only values “courageous affirmation of your beliefs” when such beliefs agree with NOM’s anti-gay mission.
This is the latest use of an explicit tactic to portray LGBT advocates as anti-conservative oppressors. As NOM President Brian Brown explained during a conference call with other conservative activists in February, the goal is to paint anti-gay Christians as the victims and LGBT people as anti-religious bullies because, “We don’t accept the idea that people should be punished in the public square for trying to live out the Gospel call.”