HeatherN is dismayed with the National Organization for Marriage’s attempts to sow racial division.
I’ll be completely up front and honest, I was a little giddy when I first came across the story that the National Organization for Marriage had purposefully tried to drive a wedge between African-American and Latino communities and the LGBT community during the fight for marriage equality in Maine in 2009. As an advocate for same-sex marriage, I find a lot of what NOM says to be particularly hateful and harmful, and I was glad they’d finally be getting their comeuppance. At the same time, as someone who is used to the media sensationalizing even the most mundane story, I was prepared to eventually find that the story had been blown a little out of proportion. Turns out I was wrong; the National Organization for Marriage really had created a strategy to try to sow racial division.
These quotes actually spell it out pretty explicitly:
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies.”
“Our ultimate goal is to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of “Anglo” culture.”
What I find really insidious about this is that it plays on the idea that only white people are LGBT or fighting for same-sex marriage. African-American and Latino LGBT visibility faces enough difficulties as it is, and NOM’s stated strategy further hinders it.
There are other issues with NOM’s strategy: they’re search for support among “glamorous non-cognitive elites,” their attempt to portray President Obama as a radical, and perhaps most problematic, their attempts to portray themselves as victims. However, it is the racial aspect to their strategy that I think is the most cynical. Here it stops being about what they believe, and it has become about winning at all costs.
What do you think? Is NOM’s strategy going to work?