In March, confidential memos detailed the National Organization for Marriage’s strategy to drive a wedge between the gay and black communities (and nullify the existence of people who are both black and gay in the process). Unfazed by the backlash, NOM doubled down on the strategy, following through on it in North Carolina and refusing to apologize, even after internal emails showed how particular the group was about highlighting black religious leaders at events.
Now, NOM has redoubled its effort to “fan the hostility” by propping up the overstated Coalition of African-American Pastors and its founder (and NOM’s new spokesperson), Rev. Bill Owens, who likes to compare homosexuality to bestiality. The organization has released a new video, featuring Owens, the vitriolic Bishop Harry Jackson, Pastor Ericka McCrutcheon (who says gays “sodomize each other and practice other deviant behaviors in society), and others, criticizing the NAACP for “pandering to the President” and joining him in supporting marriage equality. Here are a few of the talking points taken right out of NOM’s race-wedging playbook:
JERRY MARTIN: The NAACP is wrong to label same-sex marriage as a civil right.
JOHN MCCRUTCHEON: To use homosexual marriages and civil rights in the same sentence is an oxymoron… Homosexuality is not a civil right.
OWENS: Many African-Americans are struggling because of peer pressure. They don’t know what a person would feel if they speak out against President Obama and the NAACP because they’re black.
While technically CAAP is a coalition of black pastors, it’s not actually representative of anybody except the few radicals who’ve joined it. When CAAP had the gall to demand a meeting with the President two weeks ago, it admitted that it does not speak for any denomination, including the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Church of God in Christ. The group’s only purpose since its founding has been to attack marriage equality, and only since partnering with NOM has its anti-gay tantrums received any legitimate media attention. Unsurprisingly, in the vein of all of NOM’s failed online campaigns, CAAP’s 100000 Signatures 4 Marriage campaign has garnered a full 46 Likes on Facebook.
NOM’s media effort has been to paint CAAP as being some huge conglomeration of black pastors, when in fact it seems to have at best tens of active members (despite Owens’ claim of 1,300 members), and they clearly do not speak on behalf of their community. National polls have shown that a majority of African-American voters support marriage equality, even at higher rates than the national average. Even in Maryland, where Harry Jackson is quite present, a majority of African-American voters are prepared to uphold the state’s same-sex marriage law. NOM is clearly failing and trying to follow through on its plan to sow divisions, but there’s nothing quite as desperate as encouraging black voters to abandon their largest civil rights organization, top civil rights leaders, and the first black president over an issue on which they already largely agree.