How To Respond To The National Organization For Marriage’s Talking Points (A Guide)

Those associated with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) twist language to portray themselves as victims, heroes, and even “friends” to gays and lesbians, while regularly using every tool at their disposal to attack same-sex families and deprive them of equality. Whether they are “defending marriage,” using studies about single moms to attack “fatherless” two-mom couples, or taking umbrage at being called bigots, NOM’s talking points are riddled with lies, stereotypes, and fear-mongering. Now, one blogger has created a guide to countering NOM’s talking points.

Alvin McEwen, who blogs at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, has today released a comprehensive debunk of all of NOM’s go-to lines. Not only is this an important tool for defending against NOM’s lies, but seeing all of NOM’s talking points countered on one page also helps convey how insidious their strategy truly is. McEwen writes:

The idea that “marriage has to be defended” is nothing more than a cynical talking point designed to take attention away from the true issue — the lives of same-sex couples and especially the livelihood of children in same-sex households.

And it is a talking point which fuels NOM’s tactic of creating division on many levels — same-sex households vs. heterosexual two-parent household, the lgbt community vs. the heterosexual community, the black community vs. the lgbt community and so on. This “divide and conquer” strategy, created via a passive/aggressive subterfuge, is designed to appeal to people’s fears, jealousies, and ideas of religious superiority rather than their belief in basic fairness.


Here are some examples of his debunks:

NOM — “If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.”Truth — This is a distortion. Same-sex households are not in competition with heterosexual households. Children need family environments which give them love and support. […]

NOM — “Public schools will teach young children that two men being intimate are just the same as a husband and wife, even when it comes to raising kids.”Truth — This is a lie. The nonpartisan webpage Politifact found that this claim was inaccurate. In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, same-sex intimacy is not in the curriculum. Even those who oppose marriage equality, such as Marc Mutty — who helped lead the charge against it in Maine — said that this claim is hyperbole geared to motivate people through fear.

McEwen’s guide covers NOM talking points that have been heard at rallies, in commercials, and even in Congressional testimony. The frequency with which they will be heard will only increase as NOM ramps up its campaigns against marriage equality in New York and Minnesota. While we will certainly continue to debunk the religious right here at ThinkProgress with facts and research, McEwen’s guide is the perfect resource to turn to when conversing with friends or family who are struggling to support equality.