"Strategic Goal of this Project is to Drive a Wedge Between Gays and Blacks"
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
– Following the release of internal strategy memos
of the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which call for the use of race as a means of impeding the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, Freedom to Marry issued the following statement by founder and President Evan Wolfson
“In its anti-gay crusade to block the freedom to marry, NOM has spent years working to drive wedges within communities across the nation, all the while claiming it does not ’hate’ anyone, gay or non-gay. Now exposure of NOM’s own strategy memos confirms that NOM will stop at nothing to push its agenda, pitting American against American, minority against minority, family members against family members.
“NOM’s wedge-strategy memos detail its campaign to funnel money to a handful of African-American clergy in order to attack gay couples and, appallingly, discredit the strong and clear voice of those African-American civil rights champions, such as John Lewis, Julian Bond, and Coretta Scott King, who have stood up for the freedom to marry and the equal civil rights of all people, including gay people of color. These smoking-gun documents show how NOM has sought, in the most cynical ways imaginable, to bait the gay community in hopes of provoking a hurt response that would further divide, all in furtherance of the ugly and cruel anti-gay agenda.
“NOM’s secret memos describe its intention to ‘interrupt [Latinos’] process of assimilation’ by ‘making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity’ and ‘seek to identify glamorous young Latino and Latina leaders’ to reject equal protection for their own family members who are gay. And all of this to be done, fueled by NOM’s shadowy secret funders, in the name of religion -- in flagrant contempt of the Golden Rule of treating others as you would want to be treated. Despicable.
“Happily, even as NOM works to sow division and falsehood, we’ve seen the majority for marriage grow, as more Americans hear from their friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers about why marriage matters to gay people, their kids and their kin. And while NOM has worked to generate and showcase anti-gay animosity in communities of color, all of America’s communities have moved in support of the freedom to marry, thanks to the gay and non-gay people of color and others who have talked from the heart about why marriage matters.
The NOM wedge-strategy documents, laid out as part of its $20 million Strategy for Victory, were made public through an investigation in Maine into NOM’s attempts to circumvent and undermine campaign finance and disclosure laws, and publicized by the Human Rights Campaign. The documents include the following strategy for use in the African American community:
The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. 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.
The memo also outlines NOM’s strategies for targeting Latino communities. Notwithstanding NOM’s efforts, anNBC/Wall Street Journal poll
, conducted Feb. 29 through March 3, confirmed growth in support for the freedom to marry since October 2009 across nearly every slice of the electorate, with strong growth in support among African-Americans by 56% (from 32% to 50%) and Hispanic voters now supporting the freedom to marry by nearly 2 to 1 (55% to 30%).
Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.