The movement for full equality for all American families is succeeding in the face of an immense, well-funded, aggressive opposition campaign that is not just opposed to the freedom to marry, but is also anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-civil-rights, anti-women's equality, anti-independent judiciary and anti-separation of church and state.
The anti-gay right-wing groups pursuing their own political and ideological agenda explicitly oppose marriage for same-sex couples, and civil unions and domestic partnership rights of any kind. They even work to deny lesbian and gay employees health insurance coverage for their life partners and kids, and are campaigning state by state to cement sweeping anti-gay discrimination not just into the law, but into the federal and state constitutions, while also dismantling laws already in place that protect gay and lesbian couples and people. Such groups are:
1. Focus on the Family,
2. Concerned Women of America,
3. Family Research Council,
4. the American Family Association,
5. Liberty Counsel,
6. National Organization for Marriage, and others
In the build-up to the 2010 elections and following victories for marriage equality in Iowa and Vermont, the so-called ‘National Organization for Marriage’ (NOM) launched attack ads across the country against gay couples’ freedom to marry, including the now infamous “Gathering Storm” ad. After an election that saw a record number of gay candidates and supporters of the freedom to marry elected, NOM plans to continue its insidious and vicious attacks in state after state, dumping torrents of money into anti-gay campaigns in a last-ditch effort to foment discrimination at the state and national level. Freedom to Marry and Evan Wolfson have responded, uncovering NOM’s lies and strategy to subvert and undermine clean election and campaign finance laws through the “Summer for Marriage” tour and a series of opinion-editorials in the Huffington Post, New Jersey Record, “The Advocate,” and in an open letter to NOM Chairman Maggie Gallagher. The Human Rights Campaign in partnership with the Courage Campaign has also addressed NOM’s fear mongering and scare tactics with its new site NOMExposed.org.
Blog Posts Related to Opposition
All this month, our Director of Public Engagement Thalia Zepatos has been writing about the lies that we have seen opponents of the freedom to marry tell over and over again. Here's a round-up of how she's been breaking down the myths and misleading stories.
For years, anti-gay organizations that oppose the freedom to marry have relied on the same scare tactics and false mis-information to propel their campaigns forward and push through discrimination at the ballot. This year is no exception.
Mainers United for Marriage, the coalition working to proactively pass the freedom to marry at the ballot in Maine, released a new advertisement that explains that ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in Maine would in no way lead to more discrimination lawsuits in the state.
Resources Related to Opposition
A media primer on the LGBT issues landscape for the coming year released by the Human Rights Campaign.
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson was invited to the University of Michigan Law School to deliver a keynote address on the struggle for civil rights in the context of marriage for same-sex couples.
Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, makes the case for marriage on the Hoover Institution's "Uncommon Knowledge" program.