NOM is the National Organization for Marriage. They are big proponents of “traditional” marriage and opponents of marriage equality, and have been the driving force behind anti-marriage equality initiatives around the country, including California’s notorious Proposition 8. They have been very secretive about who they and their financial supporters are, but recently were forced to cough up some files as a result of litigation over their campaign finance practices, and this charming piece of their strategy was exposed.
The secret campaign of the National Organization for Marriage for creating hostility between African Americans and gays over marriage equality have come to light in a lawsuit over campaign financing in Maine. The document, which dates to 2009, was circulated by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group at odds with NOM for years. It also shows that NOM targeted Latinos in its efforts as well as President Obama:
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constiu[t]encies. 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. No politiician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party. Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the cost of pushing gay marriage to its advocates and persauding the movement’s allies that advocates are unacceptably overreaching on this issue. Consider pushing a marriage amendment in Washington D.C.; find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally.”
HRC Campaign Media Director Kevin Nix said, “Nothing beats hearing from the horse’s mouth exactly how callous and extremist this group really is.”
One section of the document explains how the group would buy ads and robocalls directed at African Americans. Included in the $1 million budget for that is $60,000 to pay black bloggers.
The main focus was to be a “$20 million strategy for victory” directed toward the 2010 midterm elections. But the document also described to the NOM board a $1 million plan of the American Principles Project to “expose Obama as a social radical.” Among other things, APP wants a return to the gold standard and to protect innocence. It says the government “plays a central role in propagating” messages of violence and promiscuity that affect “our children through schools, textbooks, libraries, job programs, health initiatives, and other public policies.”
More here. This was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw an email from MinistersForKerylDouglas@yahoo.com with the subject “Support Keryl Douglas for Harris Democratic Chair” that hit my Inbox yesterday. I’ve put the text of the email beneath the fold, but it’s straight out of the NOM playbook. I don’t know if it is the case that NOM had a hand in this – they are very secretive and take full advantage of lax state laws on donating to PACs when they aren’t just ignoring the law altogether – but it sure does smell like them, and as one of the barrage of emails to Carl Whitmarsh’s list noted, the person whose signature is on that email apparently belongs to someone who passed away in 2009. So, you know, watch out.
I am heartened to see a strong and visceral reaction against this email – see Dos Centavos, Egberto Willies, Marc Campos, the GLBT Political Caucus, the Stonewall Young Dems, the Harris County Young Democrats, among others – but the fact that anyone, whether outside agitator or not, thought that this was a viable strategy is sickening. I condemn this in the strongest possible terms, and if I weren’t already a supporter of Lane Lewis for HCDP Chair, I would be now. To whoever sent this out, I say for shame. To Keryl Douglas, I say the longer you remain silent about it the more these words belong to you. What do you stand for?
A Letter From Ministers for Keryl
Dear Bretheren and Sisters,
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity of meeting a dynamic woman of character and leadership. The woman I speak of his none other than Attorney Keryl Douglas. Some of you may know her and others may be hearing of her for the first time. Keryl is a candidate for Harris County Democratic Party Chairman. Keryl is the former Regional Director of the NAACP and has been a freedom fighter for a number of years. She and my wife are sorority members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
I have now taken on the role of organizing ministers for her campaign.
Over the years she has been involved in various community activities and movements. From our first Black Mayor to participating in the Justice for Trayvon Rally, Keryl Douglas is the leader the Harris County Democratic Party needs and the African American community is poised to make history yet again.
I am writing to you because Keryl is in a close race. Her opponent is openly Gay and has already told supporters behind closed doors that the Democratic Party will endorse a Gay Marriage agenda in November. Friends, this is not the direction we need to go as a community or Party. If the gays take over we are poised to lose everything we have worked for during President Obamas historic win. The Republicans will rally their troops behind a united front of making sure this push for same sex marriage is defeated.
Keryl’s opponent is being supported heavily by Annise Parker, another openly gay politician. If you haven’t seen what has happened at the City of Houston here are the facts:
More Gays and Lesbians serve in leadership roles on boards and commissions.
The City of Houston got rid of Blue Cross Blue Shield because CIGNA supports Same Sex benefits.
The Mayor openly advocated the support of Gay marriage and even tried to embarrass President Barack Obama because he believes marriage is between one man and one woman.
Please share this with your friends and loved ones. This race is the most important down ballot race we will vote for. If we don’t Vote they will continue their take over and pretty soon, the party that we once knew will be a party of homosexuals. Our directives shouldn’t come from San Francisco, but from Harris County voters. How will Democrats look electing a man who sales perfume for a living and lays up with another man? Why are our so called community leaders (Rev. Lawson, Howard Jefferson etc.) supporting this agenda? Are they supportive of this lifestyle too??
We must support Keryl Douglas! Visit her website at www.keryldouglascampaign.com
Rev. Willie J.Howard
Ministers for Keryl Douglas