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NOM’s Use Of Race In Marriage Debate Known For Almost A Year Now

Perhaps I’m just way more cynical than anyone in the Human Rights Campaign, or perhaps I just pay more attention to what is going on. What I would like to know is why did it take them so long to realize that the National Organization for Marriage was busy using every means possible to divide LGBT Americans from Blacks and Latinos. Almost a year ago, we here at LezGetReal reported that race was a major factor in the strategy from the National Organization for Marriage.

We noted that:

Louis J Marinelli has a wonderful blog post up about how race plays into NOM’s strategy. Here are a few of the things he says, but the rest is worth reading:

For example, in an e-mail dated July 29, 2010 NOM CEO Maggie Gallagher wrote me and Eve Tushnet an e-mail referring to Bishop Battle, who was a guest speaker on the summer bus tour with the following subject line: “I need a close-up photo of Bishop Battle for the newsletter tomorrow.”

Her e-mail message itself wrote:

Does anyone have one they can send Eve Tushnet???

He’s black, he’s on our side, he’s COGIC, I need a close-up please advice [sic]. Maggie

Later on in that same e-mail dialog between the three of us, we came to an agreement about which of the photos that I took would be a good choice for the newsletter to tout the black Bishop’s role with NOM and in opposition to same-sex marriage. Maggie wrote:

great! Eve, work with Louis if nec. to figure out how to display this in the newsletter tomorrow. We’ll make a big deal of Bishop Battle and COGIC. [sic]



But the image that really caught Mr. Giganti’s eye was Image 2930. His comments wrote:

This is a great contrast shot of our people all happy and smiling (majority black, only one non-black in the picture) versus the angry counter-protesters. (Josh, this would be a good post. Luke / Colton: We may not a spot right now but keep this one close for future use – maybe a dynamic picture that rotates between positive, happy shots of our people versus our angry foes?) [sic]

That accounts for two of the photos he selected. Three more of his recommended photos were those which included the black Reverend Fauntroy and had to do with dealt his positioning in the photos and graphical issues such as cropping. A fourth dealt with a photo of Bishop Harry Jackson, a black bishop who spoke at NOM’s dismal Annapolis rally and in D.C.

It has been almost a year since that post went live, and we are all left wondering why the HRC didn’t press their advantage back then. Why not spend a year going after NOM for their racist ploys?

The Huffington Post notes that Reverent Ralph A Martino is unwilling to work with NOM even though he is an opponent of marriage equality. He noted that their tactics fan hostility and that “If this is the type of weaponry a group uses in order to stir up warfare and foster division, then we’re not part of that. This angle creates unnecessary drama and it will backfire.”

The HuffPo notes that “The drama has already begun”, but for many of us out here on the front lines, we have been seeing this for some time. North Carolina politicians pushed to get as many minority churches and pastors as possible out and visible to try and sway minority voters. They did their best to push this as a racial issue as well as a religious one.

NOM says in one memo that has now come out that:

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” states one of the memos. “Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” continued the memo, part of a set of documents that emerged as a result of a Maine lawsuit and then were leaked by the Human Rights Campaign.

If you want to read up on this, please head on over to the HuffPo. . .what we want to know is just how we have managed to get this far with these schmuks at the helm of this movement. Come on people, pay attention and stop acting like you’re asleep at the wheel here.



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One Response to NOM’s Use Of Race In Marriage Debate Known For Almost A Year Now

  1. Gregory

    April 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Although you are totally correct in pointing out that you have been aware of their foul tactics for a long time, and have shared and posted your findings, the difference is that now we have written evidence from their own internal documents.