By Frederick Sparks
Revealed as part of a court ordered release of documents related to a lawsuit over finance disclosure violations, a 2009 National Organization for Marriage memo spells out a strategy of racial targeting in its opposition to marriage equality. In a section titled “Not A Civil Right Project” the memo states “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 speaks to accomplishing a “sophisticated cultural objective: interrupt the attempt to equate gay with black, and sexual orientation with race.” This is all part of an overall objective to “raise the cost of identifying with gay marriage, and also raise the attractiveness of identifying with traditional marriage.”
In a section devoted to targeting Latino opposition to same-sex marriage, the memo queries “will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?” Rich irony..the same political forces who xenophobically decry the perceived resistance of Latinos to dominant culture assimilation now worry about the effects of said assimilation.
Sikivu Hutchinson wrote previously of the alliance between Black and Latino fundamentalist anti-abortion groups and the white Religious Right . Black and Latino conservatism on social issues, largely related to high degrees of Christian religiosity, is ripe ground for political forces who otherwise couldn’t be concerned with the most pressing issues facing those communities.