NOM’s Attempts To Portray Marriage Equality Proponents As ‘Crazy’ Inadvertently Scared Away NOM Supporters

Ex-anti-gay strategist Louis Marinelli, who recently defected from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), continues to spill details about the inner-workings of the organization. (NOM has apparently threatened legal action.) Today, Marinelli confirmed suspicions that on the “Summer for Marriage Tour,” a series of anti-marriage equality rallies he helped coordinate, NOM was eagerly looking to portray LGBT supporters as “crazy.” NOM would use the pictures Marinelli took on it blog to describe the counter-protesters as “militant” and “intolerant, inconsiderate bullies.”

It turns out the strategy backfired, because it scared away would-be NOM supporters. Here are excerpts from an email sent by Matthew Haas, who orchestrates NOM’s video projects:

I just want to follow-up on the email David [LeJeune] sent. We want to focus on the positive for photos and video. We want happy people, people clapping, families, speakers shaking hands with people coming out. We want to still capture the protestors (especially if they do something exceptionally crazy), but that will not be the main focus.

ALSO, for both photos and video, we want the crowds to look as big as possible. We got feedback that people are afraid to come out to the stops actually, which is really a shame because they’re afraid of what the protestors may do.

Whether or not this fear was the primary factor responsible for the low turnout of supporters at most of NOM’s rallies is unclear.


Despite backing away from this strategy, NOM has not held back its self-victimization rhetoric. At last week’s House Judiciary Committee “defending marriage” hearing, NOM’s Maggie Gallagher repeatedly complained that same-sex marriage would lead to opponents like her being labeled as bigots and “hateful.” Watch it: