Law in Contemporary Society
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is an anti-LGBTQ organization that puts forth homophobic campaigns and legislation (inclusive of constitutional bans on gay marriage both federally and within the individual states themselves). This past week, in compliance with an investigation regarding their failure to comply with campaign disclosure and financial laws in Maine, a protected memo was released that revealed their $20 million "Strategy for Victory" campaign. The strategy documents were made available to the public here.

NOM's strategy revealed their intention to engender a schism between the queer community and other minority groups--specifically the black and latino communities. These quotes serve as examples:

Dividing gays and Blacks (Exhibit 28, p. 12): The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots."

The Latino strategy (12/15/09 p. 20): "The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be even more so in the future because of demographic growth. Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity.

We aim to identify young Latino and Latina leaders, especially artists, actors, musicians, athletes, writers and other celebrities willing to stand for marriage, regardless of national boundaries. …Here’s our insight: The number of “glamorous” people willing to buck the powerful forces to speak for marriage may be small in any one country. But by searching for these leaders across national boundaries we will assemble a community of next generation Latino leaders that Hispanics and other next generation elites in this country can aspire to be like. (As “ethnic rebels” such spokespeople will also have an appeal across racial lines, especially to young urbans in America.)

With the help of Schubert Flint Public Affairs, we will develop Spanish language radio and TV ads, as well as pamphlets, YouTube? videos, and church handouts and popular songs. Our ultimate goal is the make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conforming assimilation to the bad side of “Anglo” culture."

NOM's President, Brian Brown, has since responded, stating, "We proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage." I find this response puzzling because the only thing throwing money at anti-gay minorities does is fracture those marginalized subpopulations even further. Perhaps Mr. Brown misspoke and meant to say that "We proudly bring non-LGTBQ people of different races" together.

NOM's invidious intention is insulting, offensive, and twisted. By delegitimizing gay marriage, NOM lays down a stake that tells young people that being gay is an aberration in human behavior. Things that are different inspire fear, alienation, and anger in majority clusters of society. The result is an implicit message that says "it's okay to terrorize gay people because we're doing society a favor by quashing what shouldn't exist in the first place." Do we really expect society to respect (much less protect) a group that is described as weird, abnormal, and sinful?

Queer individuals, from young teenagers to the elderly, suffer overwhelming discrimination and brutal hate crimes. Because hate crimes happen in discrete populations, and amongst various class and race lines, news headlines often do not consolidate these stories to present a single narrative of brutality and terror; these stories come fragmented pieces and geographies, so the problem doesn't portray the uniformity of gay oppression. But tally the number of "teen bullied to death" and "gay/trans/lesbian killing" in local headlines, and you'll notice perhaps the problem is worse than we think it is.

Many of these hate crimes are perpetrated by people of color against queers of color. It's disgusting to me that NOM, and so many Americans, wish to exacerbate this tension by asking church leaders to speak out against LGBTQ minorities. Surely NOM must realize that by "driving a wedge between gays and blacks," not only do they fracture oppressed socio-cultural groups, but they disgustingly seek to marginalize the marginalized: queers of color. Not only is this sub-minority group oppressed because of the color of their skin, but they are also oppressed because of their sexuality. This is compounded by the fact that other people of color are being pitted against them too, if NOM has anything to say about it. It's hard enough to be discriminated against by white, heterosexuals. Why does NOM see the need to destroy the sense of socio-cultural identity by turning Blacks and Latinos against their LGBTQ members? Oh probably because of this.

-- AjGarcia - 28 Mar 2012


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r3 - 31 May 2017 - 01:54:10 - TyCarleton
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