FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Becker, Director of Communications
Internal Documents Show NOM Displayed Staggering Disrespect for African-Americans, Latinos, Says TWO
BURLINGTON, Vt – Truth Wins Out expressed disgust today about newly-unsealed documents from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) — the organization that fights marriage equality nationwide — that reveal a vile and repugnant strategy of setting African-American, Latino, and LGBT minorities against each other through the shameful exploitation of race.
The documents, including reports and updates filed with NOM’s board of directors, explicitly state the organization’s disrespectful plan to exploit African Americans in the marriage equality battle. NOM’s strategic goal is to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks,” “[fan] the hostility raised in the wake of [California’s] Prop 8,” and “develop a media campaign around [African Americans’] objections to gay marriage as a civil right.” To assist in the electoral pushback against same-sex marriage, NOM seeks to enlist “attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates.”
“The stunning degree of crass exploitation and diabolical political tactics revealed in these documents is unconscionable,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “This is a smoking gun that clearly shows a profound disrespect for the very minority groups that NOM is targeting. Clearly, divisiveness and dishonesty are what fuels the anti-marriage equality movement.”
NOM’s outreach strategy to the Latino community is also discussed in detail: “Our ultimate goal is to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist association to the bad side of ‘Anglo’ culture” and “a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.” One memo even referred to the anti-equality Latino leaders that NOM hoped to recruit as “ethnic rebels.”
“NOM’s strategy is patronizing, cynical, and disrespectful at its core,” said John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications. “Any organization that resorts to such blatant manipulation for selfish political gain deserves widespread condemnation.”
Another section makes it clear that NOM intends to export its hateful bile beyond the borders of the United States, despite the devastating consequences that American-exported homophobia has already had in places like Uganda. The group states that it is in the process of “creating [templates] that can be used abroad” because it recognizes that “marriage needs to be a national (and ultimately international) effort.”
Still another section touts the group’s close relationship with Catholic bishops and reveals NOM’s plans to use those relationships to “equip, energize and moralize Catholic priests on the marriage issue.” The implementation of this strategy has been painfully obvious of late, as bishops have cracked down on priests who oppose the church’s persecution of LGBT people, a lesbian in a committed relationship was denied communion at her mother’s funeral, and a Catholic diocese forced one of its schools to fire its gay music director because he married his partner of 20 years.
“Today’s revelations,” said Becker, “prove what we’ve known all along: that NOM is willing to say and do whatever it takes – whether it’s blatant race-baiting, spreading malicious anti-gay propaganda, or using religious leaders as weapons with which to bludgeon LGBT people from the pulpits and in their parishes – in order to prevent loving, committed same-sex couples from winning the freedom to marry.”
Truth Wins Out is a national nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism, religion-based bigotry, and the “ex-gay” myth. Its goal is to create a world where LGBT people can live openly, honestly, and true to themselves. TWO monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies, and exposes their leaders. It specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating, and fighting for LGBT equality.
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