Ever since last week’s release of the National Organization for Marriage’s confidential memos that reveal its race-baiting tactics, the enduring question has been whether Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich will apologize for having signed the anti-gay group’s presidential pledge. In a column today in the Washington Times, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper urged the Republican Party to purge the group entirely from its ranks:
Putting aside NOM’s callous disregard for LGBT families, my party, the Republican party, cannot afford to be associated with an organization that arrogantly seeks to manipulate African American and Latino voters, particularly when the Republican Party is working hard to promote our message of economic opportunity and individual liberty among these communities. Crude identity politics has no place in today’s conservative movement.[…]
The debate surrounding the freedom to marry is ongoing, with good and loyal conservatives on both sides. However, NOM is a cancer that needs to be removed for the good of the conservative movement. Inclusion wins, and division loses. It is time to walk away from NOM — and buy a cup of Starbucks coffee for the road.
So far, none of the three candidates who signed the pledge has commented on NOM’s insidious tactics or distanced themselves from the group, but they all have deeper ties they might not wish to remind voters of. It came to light last week that Romney had secretly given NOM $10,000 in 2008 to advocate for California’s Proposition 8. Santorum was identified in the memos as an official spokesperson for the group’s efforts. Gingrich has vowed that if elected he would institute a commission on religious freedom modeled entirely upon NOM’s rhetoric. All three have significant past investment in the group and could possibly have even been privy to these tactics before they were revealed last week, so it would seem they have more to answer for than just the pledge.